— Published 13 April 2023

A very ceremonial day

Random calendar: the day of Wednesday, April 12 (D – 471 days before the opening of the Olympic Games) was dominated by the preparation of the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Games. The French Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, launched the machine at the beginning of the morning by evoking the subject on Franceinfo. She did not say much, just explaining that the gauge of spectators was being “refined”. The statement remains vague, but it suggests that the number of spectators on the upper banks of the Seine, where access will be free but reserved for ticket holders, could be revised downwards. According to several sources close to the matter, the initial figure of 500,000 spectators (to be added to the 100,000 planned for the lower quays, where access will be paying) would no longer be relevant. The capacity could finally be set at 500,000 people in total (upper and lower platforms), or even a little less. “The work continues with the police headquarters, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, and the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, to set what we will do on the part of the high quays, but there will be in any case several hundred thousand people who will be able to benefit from this parade of athletes along the 6 kilometers of the Seine, “explained Amélie Oudéa-Castéra. Later in the day, on Wednesday, the artistic director of the ceremonies to the COJO, Thomas Jolly, presented the first elements of the evening to a delegation of the IOC, led by Pierre-Olivier Beckers, the president of the coordination commission of the Games of Paris 2024. Comment voluntarily very laconic of the Belgian leader, reported by l’Equipe: “It is encouraging and on good rails“.