Paris 2024: What you need to know about the summer Olympics and Paralympics


Olympic rings in Paris, with Eiffel Tower in background

It is six months until the summer Olympics begin in Paris, with the Paralympics following a few weeks later.

The opening ceremony will take place on boats, and break-dancing will feature for the first time.

When are the Olympic and Paralympic Games and who is taking part?

The summer Olympics run from 26 July to 11 August, with 10,500 athletes competing in 32 sports and 329 medal events.

The Paralympics run from 28 August to 8 September, featuring 4,400 athletes in 22 sports and 549 medal events.

There will be 206 countries represented at the Olympics, and 184 at the Paralympics.

Paris previously held the summer Games in 1900 and 1924.

It will become only the second city to host them three times. London held them in 1908, 1948 and 2012.

The last summer Olympics took place in Tokyo in 2021, delayed by a year because of Covid.

Where will events take place?

There will be 15 Olympic and 11 Paralympic venues in central Paris.

The triathlon, marathon swimming and Para-triathlon events will take place in the capital’s Seine river.

Map showing major Olympic events in the Paris

The Stade de France will be the venue for the main athletics events. Six regional cities will stage football matches.

Marseille, on the Mediterranean coast, will host the sailing.

Surfing will take place in Teahupo’o, in Tahiti – a French overseas territory in the South Pacific.

The organisers say the Games will mainly use existing or temporary structures, to help reduce cost and carbon emissions.

Preparing the venues is reported to cost about 8bn euros (£6.85bn).

In July 2023, the president of the organising committee said the budget was “under control”.

Which new sports will feature in Paris?

A break-dancer performs at the 2023 PanAm Games in Santiago, Chile
Image caption,”Breaking” will be a new Olympic sport at the Paris Games

Break-dancing or “breaking” will debut as an Olympic sport. The gymnastic style of dancing originated in New York in the 1970s.

The four events introduced in Tokyo – BMX, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing – will continue.

Karate and baseball have been dropped.

What will the Olympic opening ceremony be like?

Artist's impression of celebrations for the opening of the Games along the Seine
Image caption,The opening ceremony for the Olympics will feature a parade of athletes on boats on the Seine

Olympic opening ceremonies usually involve athletes parading in a stadium. In Paris, they will parade on a river.

The national squads will sail down the Seine for 6km (3.8 miles) through the centre of the city.

Athletes will gather in a stadium in a park called the Trocadero for the lighting of the Olympic Flame.

The organisers say they wanted to let the public watch the opening ceremony for free. Half a million spectators are expected to line the riverbank.

What is the Paris 2024 mascot?

The games have a pair of mascots called “Les Phryges”.

Actors model life-size versions of Les Phryges, the two mascots for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games
Image caption,Les Phryges’ motto is “Alone we go faster, but together we go further”

They are modelled on the red “Phrygian” caps worn during the French Revolution of 1789, when the monarchy was overthrown.

The Paralympic Phryge (left above) has a running blade, the first mascot to have a visible disability.

Will Russia compete at Paris 2024?

Neither Russia nor Belarus are allowed to send teams because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Belarus’ support for it. However, athletes from those countries can compete as Individual Neutral Athletes.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for not also barring Israel from taking part because of its military operation is Gaza.

IOC president Thomas Bach told the Reuters news agency that the comparison is wrong, and confirmed Israel’s participation.

There will also be a Refugee Olympic Team for athletes displaced from their home countries.

In the Tokyo Games, this team had 29 members from 11 countries including Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Cameroon.

How can I get tickets for the Olympics and Paralympics?

Tickets for the Olympics and Paralympics are on sale to everyone across the world, on a “first come, first served” basis.

They can only be bought from the Paris 2024 website.

Many sessions are already sold out. However, new batches of tickets are regularly added.

Prices start at 24 euros (£21) for Olympic events, and 15 euros (£13) for Paralympic events.

One opinion poll suggested that 44% of Parisians think hosting the Olympics is a “bad thing”.

Bus and metro fares will double in Paris while the Games are on.

Some residents are annoyed about security measures.

Artist's impression of the Olympic Village in Seine-Saint-Denis
Image caption,The Olympic Village is 7km (4.3 miles) north of central Paris, in Seine-Saint-Denis

The Olympic and Paralympic Village, and a new aquatics centre, are being built in a region north of Paris called Seine-Saint-Denis – one of the poorest parts of mainland France.

Charities complained after hundreds of squatters were evicted from buildings close to the new Games venues.

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