Macron suggests backup plan for Paris 2024 opening ceremony

Featured image credit: Paris 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron has revealed that there are backup plans in place for the opening ceremony of next year’s Olympic Games in Paris amid concerns that a scheduled event on the River Seine would pose security risks.

Paris 2024 organisers announced in December 2021 that the opening ceremony of the Games would feature an athletes’ parade held along the River Seine. It is set to mark the first-ever opening ceremony to take place outside of a stadium environment.

The parade will come to the end of its 6km route in front of the Trocadéro, with boats planned for each national delegation. Each boat will be equipped with cameras to allow television and online viewers to see the athletes close up.

Since the plans were first announced, organisers have remained committed to staging the opening ceremony on the River Seine but Macron has suggested that the schedule may be revised to ward off any potential security threats.

During an interview with the France 5 television channel, Macron said that there is a plan B and plan C in place for the opening ceremony “in the event of a potential threat”. No specific details were given on any potential backup plan.

Macron insisted that if the opening ceremony was scheduled for tomorrow, it would take place on the Seine as scheduled, suggesting that there are no immediate plans to move the event. He added: “Should we immediately no longer have any ambition and say we’re relocating? No! We are getting organised.”

His comments go against those made earlier this month by Minister for Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who said that there was “no plan B” – only a plan A in which there are “several plans”.

Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet also insisted yesterday (Wednesday) that the River Seine parade is the “only project” organisers are working on for the opening ceremony.

The Paris 2024 Paralympics opening ceremony is also set to take place outside of a traditional stadium setting, with the athletes’ parade set to stretch from the Champs-Elysées to Place de la Concorde.