Flying the Olympic banner, Paris looks past Covid for 2024 Games


France unrolled the red carpet for the Olympic flag on Monday, with the host of subsequent 2024 Summer Games promising to form the sporting spectacle hospitable the masses after a pandemic-hit Tokyo Games held behind closed doors.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo waved the flag which she was handed in Tokyo during the handover ceremony as she stepped out of the aircraft bringing home a number of the country’s last athletes.

The 2024 games would be “something very positive for our country. they are available at an honest moment,” Hidalgo told reporters.

Paris, she said, had learned many lessons from Tokyo’s experience.

Delayed by a year and upended by strict Covid-19 countermeasures as contagious variants surged back round the world, the 2020 Games fell in need of the triumph and financial windfall Japan had wanted.

At Sunday’s handover ceremony, Paris sought to vary the tone. Several thousand sports fans thronged a lover zone within the shadow of the Eiffel Tower , whooping and cheering as some Tokyo medalists bounced onstage to a backtrack of blaring rock ‘n’ roll .

“We want to seek out ways to open the games to the people,” Paris Games chief Tony Estanguet said on Friday.

“Our focus is on taking sport out of the normal spaces and putting competition at the guts of the citys most famous landmarks,” Estanguet, a three-time Olympic canoe champion, added.

Bringing the games closer to the people will pose security challenges during a country that has suffered waves of attacks at the hands of Islamist militants or jihadist-inspired assailants in recent years. quite 250 people are killed.

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In a nod to breaking with an old made-for-TV format, organisers of the Paris 2024 games have for the past year been performing on taking the opening ceremony out of the Olympic stadium and into the guts of Paris.

For the primary time, amateur runners will participate within the marathon, road-biking enthusiasts will cycle the course soon after the Olympians and sailing enthusiasts could also be ready to do battle in real-time with their sporting heroes.

“We got to balance the tradition of the Olympics with creativity and innovation,” Estanguet has said.

No-one knows if the planet will have conquered the pandemic in three years time. Estanguet said in February that Paris 2024 was performing on its own contingency plans.

Already not everything has gone Paris’ way. The city’s bid to fly an enormous flag from the Eiffel Tower and set a primary record for the 2024 Games was thwarted on Sunday by the wind.

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