— Published 8 July 2022

For the Paralympic Games, Paris 2024 plays the balance

The dates were already known, August 28 to September 8. The logo was also known, since it was shared with the Olympic Games. The first figures had been revealed. But the Paris 2024 OCOG lifted a new corner of the veil on the Paralympic Games, the first in history organized in France: the calendar of events.

What should we learn from it? A lot of figures, to start with. In Paris, in two years and a few handfuls of weeks, the Paralympic meeting will gather 22 sports, that is 23 disciplines, for a total of 549 events. They will be spread over 269 sessions.

The program will be condensed into 11 days of competition, one day less than the Tokyo 2020 Games. Advantage, according to the OCOG: to propose a denser program.

Another figure: 3.4 million tickets will be put on sale. The ticketing will not start before next year.

For the rest, the event wants to be balanced. The Parisian organizers have been working for several months with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the international federations, the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), and the public players, including the Interministerial Delegation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (DIJOP) and Île-de-France Mobilités.

New: the day of the opening ceremony, Wednesday, August 28, will be free of any sports competition. “In order to allow all para-athletes who wish to do so to experience this unique moment” explains the OCOG. It is acquired since the end of the last month that the opening ceremony will take place in the capital, as its Olympic counterpart, on the Place de la Concorde.

What’s next? Eleven sports are on the program from the first day of competition (D+1), Thursday, August 29, 2024. It will distribute the first medals, in swimming, taekwondo and cycling on track.

The swimming and the athletics, disputed respectively on the sites of the Arena Paris La Défense and the Stade de France, will occupy the place during almost all the Games: from August 30 till September 8 for the athletics, with the marathon in final bouquet (departure in La Courneuve and arrival in the Invalides); from August 29 till September 7 for the swimming.

The first weekend of the Games – Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 – will offer a record number of 16 sports, out of the 22 on the program. Among them, rowing in Vaires-sur-Marne. Canoeing, also contested on the Olympic basin of Vaires-sur-Marne, should take advantage of the exhibition of the second weekend of the Games, from September 6 to 8.

The five team sports – cecifoot, seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and goalball – will debut a new format. They will all be contested by the same number of eight nations, for both men and women, for greater consistency and clarity.

The last day, Sunday, September 8, will feature four sports (marathon athletics, wheelchair basketball, canoeing and weightlifting), before a closing ceremony at the Stade de France.

Parity? We’ll have to wait a little longer. On the ground of the equality of the sexes, the IPC accuses a train of delay on the IOC, but the things advance. In Paris 2024, the Paralympic Games will feature a record 235 women’s events, eight more than at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Of the 4,400 athletes competing, at least 1,859 quotas will be reserved for women. The female participation could thus almost double compared to the Sydney 2000 Games, where women were a little less than a thousand (990). Precision: 339 mixed quotas (women or men) are planned for Paris 2024.

The sites, finally. To date, the paralympic appointment does not raise the least controversy, unlike its Olympic elder. It will benefit from several very postcard locations: the Esplanade des Invalides for archery; the Champ de Mars, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, for cecifoot, judo and wheelchair rugby; the park of the Château de Versailles for horseback riding.

The schedule of events for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will be announced at the end of 2022.