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Paris 2024 could stage opening ceremony outside main stadium

Paris 2024’s chief wants the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony to be held on the French capital’s streets rather than inside the Stade De France national stadium.

Tony Estanguet, the Paris 2024 organising committee’s president, said the unorthodox staging would fit better with the Games’ inclusive slogan of ‘Paris 2024: made for sharing’.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Estanguet said moving the opening ceremony out of the main stadium will “change the scale, having potentially hundreds of thousands of people participating in this symbolic moment”.

Other plans at enhancing inclusivity include making Paris 2024 the first Games to have a common standard that ensures accessibility to venues and events for people with disabilities. Organisers are also considering the possibility that non-elite runners could complete the marathon course on the same day as Olympians.

“The idea is to move to the people,” Estanguet told the Guardian. “We will transform the city of Paris into a big Olympic and Paralympic park. We don’t want them to come to the stadium, we want to transform their city into a sporting atmosphere.

“We have the idea of the marathon open to the participation of the public. On the same day on the same road it will be open to thousands of people. The athletes will start at 9 and the public at 10. We will also do the same for the road cycling event.”

Estanguet added that organisers have a Covid contingency fund of more than €300m and tickets are likely to only go on sale in mid-2023.

Image: Rodrigo Kugnharski on Unsplash