Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Countdown: Paris is due for the 2024 Olympics in less than 100 days

The Olympic rings are set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Sept. 14, 2017.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Michel Euler/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Olympic Torch is lit and the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics is 100 days away.

The countdown clock in Paris hit the 100-day mark Tuesday. That came on the same day the torch was lit at the birthplace of the sporting competition in Ancient Olympia, Greece.

A relay of torchbearers will carry the flame along a 5,000-kilometer (3,100-mile) route through Greece until handing it over to the Paris Games organizers in Athens on April 26.

The French capital is due to see a wildly ambitious waterborne celebration on the Seine River on July 26 to officially open the Games.

But President Emmanuel Macron has been among the officials to admit the plans for the ceremony could be adjusted due to security concerns.

By promising socially positive and also less polluting and less wasteful Olympics, the city synonymous with romance is also setting itself the high bar of making future Games generally more desirable.

Critics question their value for a world grappling with climate warming and other emergencies. Potential host cities became so Games-averse that Paris and Los Angeles were the only remaining candidates in 2017 when the International Olympic Committee selected them for 2024 and 2028, respectively.

After scandals and the $13 billion cost of the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021, unfulfilled promises of beneficial change for host Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi tarnished by Russian doping and President Vladimir Putin's subsequent land grabs in Ukraine, the Switzerland-based IOC has mountains of skepticism to dispel.

Virtuous Summer Games in Paris could help the long-term survival of the IOC’s mega-event.

At close to 9 billion euros ($9.7 billion), more than half from sponsors, ticket sales and other non-public funding, Paris' expenses so far are less than for the last three Summer Games in Tokyo, Rio and London in 2012.

Including policing and transport costs, the portion of the bill for French taxpayers is likely to be around 3 billion euros ($3.25 billon), France's body for auditing public funds said in its most recent study in July.

Security remains a challenge for the city repeatedly hit by deadly extremist violence. The government downsized ambitions to have 600,000 people lining the River Seine for the opening ceremony. Citing the risk of attacks, it shelved a promise that anyone could apply for hundreds of thousands of free tickets. Instead, the 326,000 spectators will either be paying ticket-holders or have been invited.

View more