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Events

Macron details backup plans for Paris 2024 opening ceremony

Featured image credit: Paris 2024

Featured image credit: Paris 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron has revealed that two backup options are under consideration for the opening ceremony of this summer’s Olympic Games amid fears the event in Paris could be targeted by terrorists.

The opening ceremony of the Games is scheduled to take place on July 26 along the River Seine, with boats for each national delegation. It would mark the first time an Olympics opening ceremony has taken place outside of a stadium environment.

Earlier this year, France’s Minister of Interior Gérald Darmanin said that around 300,000 spectators will be able to watch the opening ceremony – half the amount that was originally envisioned for the event.

Macron has now confirmed today (Monday) that there are alternative plans in place if the event on the River Seine is deemed too much of a security risk.

Speaking to BFMTV and RMC this morning, Macron said: “There is a plan B and a plan C. We are preparing them in parallel. We will do an analysis in real time. We have a ceremony which would be limited to the Trocadéro and which would therefore not cover the entire Seine.”

Macron added that the event could be relocated to the Stade de France. “This is what is traditionally done,” he said.

Macron said the opening ceremony will be “worth the effort” and added: “What the terrorists want above all is to prevent us from dreaming. They want to prevent young people from going to café terraces, to concerts, to sporting events. There is no naivety. There is great lucidity. We will share all the information. We will give ourselves the means to hold a very big opening ceremony.”

Macron also said that a wide-ranging security system will be put in place for the opening ceremony, with all people who enter and leave the designated area to be screened.

The 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.

The Olympics will take place from July 26 to August 11, with the Paralympics to follow from August 28 to September 8.