The Seine, center of attention of the Paris 2024 Games opening ceremony

Updated on 28/05/2024
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A glimpse at what the opening ceremony might look like under the setting sun near the Eiffel Tower.
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On July 26th, 2024, all eyes will be on Paris for a ceremony that promises to be magical, avant-garde and crowd-pleasing. Find out more about the upcoming spectacle, which will take place on the Seine.
For the first time in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Opening Ceremony will happen outside of a stadium, embracing the city. On July 26th, 2024, starting at 7:30pm, nearly 10,500 athletes from 206 delegations will parade down the Seine in front of several hundred thousand people. This spectacle will show off the very best of France, and of course the capital, with its heritage, its history, its creativity and its audacity.

The Seine, a magical backdrop for an extraordinary ceremony

The date of July 26th, 2024 is set to go down in history. For the first time, a Games opening ceremony will take place outside a stadium. The river Seine will be the main backdrop.
"This ambitious project, the result of an intense collective effort, will delight Parisians, Ile-de-France residents and tourists alike," stresses the City of Paris. "The opening ceremony will draw the world's spotlight to our city, where the values of Olympism will shine".
A "total spectacle", continues Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee. "On bridges, on monuments, in the water, artistic performances will unfold everywhere, extending this sporting party."

A 6 km route on the water, from Austerlitz bridge to Trocadéro

Map of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony route
Over the course of a 3h15 show, some 10,500 athletes will take to the Seine aboard 160 boats on a 6-kilometer course from the Pont d'Austerlitz to the Trocadéro. Notre-Dame de Paris, the Louvre, the Pont Neuf, the Pont des Arts and the Eiffel Tower will form the iconic backdrop for this show.
Athletes will inaugurate the ceremony and light it up from start to finish as they stroll through the city. Crossing the center of Paris from east to west, they will have a breathtaking view of the capital, and a glimpse of the exceptional playground that will host their performances.
Animations, installations and artistic performances celebrating sport and the city will take place at the heart of this river setting. A total of 12 artistic tableaux will showcase France's heritage as well as Paris, its monuments and bridges along the way. The final act, at the Trocadéro and in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower will be devoted to the final ceremonial and artistic sequences.
The opening ceremony in figures
- Hundreds of millions of television viewers and hundreds of thousands of spectators
- 10,500 athletes
- 160 boats
- 206 delegations
- 120 heads of state, sovereigns and/or heads of government

A generous and crowd-pleasing festival

Paris 2024 outwards to bring sports to the heart of the city, as close to people as possible, in order to share the magic of the Games with as many people as possible. The ceremony will be partly free of charge and accessible to several hundred thousand people.
Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner can't wait for things to kick off: "To experience an Olympic Games opening ceremony wearing the colors of France is always emotional. But to experience it here, in France, and what's more, in the heart of Paris, in direct communion with spectators from all over France and the world, is bound to make it an unforgettable experience. This opening ceremony will break the mould. We're already looking forward to it!"
With an unobstructed view of the Seine, a sound system and giant screens set up all along the route, spectators will be able to follow the entire show and enjoy the unique atmosphere that will set every corner of the city alight.

A ceremony in line with the Paris 2024 project

These strong choices are in line with the Paris 2024 project. July 26th, 2024 will lay down a marker, offering ever more emotion, openness and sharing, with :
  • competitions in the heart of the city. The sporting events will take place at iconic sites in and around Paris: beach volleyball at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, taekwondo and fencing at the Grand Palais, horse-riding at the Château de Versailles, archery on the Esplanade des Invalides…
  • Sporting events open to the public. Paris 2024 will organize the Marathon for All, the first event open to public participation during the Olympic Games.
  • New sports to appeal to new audiences. For the first time in the history of the Games, the Olympic program will be enriched by break dancing, a sport that straddles the border between athletic and artistic performance.

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