The world’s greatest Paralympic athletes, parading down France’s most well-known boulevard with their prosthetic limbs, mobility chairs and tales of adversity, heading to a grand celebration of their prowess and sports activities on the Paris sq. the place the French Revolutionaries of 1789 chopped off heads.
Paris organizers on Thursday introduced their opening ceremony plans for the Paralympics, an occasion with 4,400 athletes that can observe the primary post-COVID-19 pandemic Olympics in lower than two years.
The attention-grabber is the venue itself: In a primary, the Paralympic opening present might be free of a conventional stadium setting and as a substitute be held in the open in the French capital’s coronary heart, on the Champs-Elysees boulevard and the town’s largest sq., Place de la Concorde.
The as soon as blood-soaked plaza, the place King Louis XVI, his queen, Marie Antoinette, and different nobles have been guillotined in the course of the French Revolution that laid the primary foundations of contemporary France, is shaping up as an eye catching focus of the Paris Games.
Set like a gem between the Tuileries Gardens, the Seine River and the majestic Crillon Hotel, the sq. might be transformed into the sector for the brand new Olympic sport of breakdancing, 3-on-3 basketball, BMX biking and skateboarding, coming again to this system after its Olympic debut on the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021.
Only 17 days after the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Olympics, the Place de la Concorde will then take centre stage for the unprecedented opening ceremony of the Aug. 28-Sept. 8 Paralympics.
International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons predicted a ceremony that might be “a factor of magnificence, and a once-in-a-lifetime occasion that can go down in all our histories.”
“This competition of inclusion all begins with the really distinctive expertise of 1000’s of Paralympians parading down the world’s most well-known avenue. What an incredible thrill it’ll be to enter the Champs-Elysees after which make the journey all the way down to Place de la Concorde, all of the whereas being framed by the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre,” he stated in remarks distributed by 2024 organizers.
Organizers stated house might be made on the ceremony for 65,000 individuals — equal to the group at a big Olympic stadium.
French Paralympic and Sports Committee president Marie-Amelie Le Fur stated breaking freed from stadium confines “is a revolution.”
“Going down the Champs-Elysees to Place de la Concorde and sharing this with almost 65,000 individuals, in the center of the capital, might be a historic moment,” she stated. “It’s unparalleled.”
About 30,000 of these in attendance will be capable to watch the ceremony free of charge.
The venue alternative is a part of a large effort by Paris organizers to free the Olympics and Paralympics from the shackles of conventional sports activities venues and switch the French capital into a large playground for sport in the course of the Games, with the Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais and different landmarks used as competitors venues.
The idea — encapsulated in the official slogan, “Games Wide Open” — shouldn’t be with out threat. The use of metropolis websites as venues poses safety, transport and logistical challenges.
The Olympic opening ceremony may even break with custom, taking to the waters of the Seine as a substitute of being held in a stadium.
Boats will parade the ten,500 athletes on the waterway from east to west. Organizers are planning for at the least 600,000 spectators, most of them ticketless and watching free of charge, and are billing it as the most important opening ceremony in Olympic historical past.
The opening and shutting ceremonies for each the Olympics and Paralympics might be directed by prize-winning French theatre director Thomas Joly.