//Olympics 2024

A New Sport, Sustainability, and More: 4 Milestones and Innovations We’ll See at the Paris Olympics

Besides the games, the Paris Olympics will also include some new additions or continued commitment to past innovations. 

On top of the exciting games themselves, the Paris Olympics will have some new additions for millions of sports fans worldwide. Whether it’s a new sport or two, the venues, or even a milestone, here are some new things we can all look forward to as we count the days down until the Opening Ceremony!

A ‘new’ opening ceremony
Paris Olympics: Seine River
The Seine River across Paris. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

For the first time in Olympic history, the Opening Ceremony will be outside the Olympic Stadium (for Paris, it’s Stade de France). Instead, they will be making the most of this iconic city as the grand spectacle will take place along a six-kilometer stretch of the Seine River, with individual boats for each national delegation. 

An east-to-west route is set to be followed, starting from the Austerlitz bridge, and ending at the Iéna bridge. In between, the routes pass by several bridges and gateways, where thousands of eager fans will have the opportunity to see the world’s best athletes up close. 

In terms of viewing, admission is free for fans who’ll only be by the route’s upper quays. But, for fans who want a closer viewing, tickets to watch the ceremony through the walkways along the Seine.

On top of this, around 80 giant screens and speakers will be placed along Paris too, which will allow for just about everyone to enjoy the festivities! 

One debutant sport, but a continued connection to the youth
Paris Olympics: Breaking
Sunny Choi from the United States will be one of the first-ever B-Girls for Paris. (Photo Credit: Little Shao via Sunny Choi on Instagram)

Compared to four new sports added to the Tokyo edition, only one sport will be making its Olympic debut this year: breaking, or breakdancing. While it was featured in the 2018 Youth Olympics, it wasn’t until Paris that it became a part of the mainline roster. 

Per the Paris Olympics website, this year’s competition will have two separate events for men and women, where competitiors will face off in spectacular solo battles.

“Athletes will use a combination of power moves — including windmills, the 6-step, and freezes — as they adapt their style and improvise to the beat of the DJ’s tracks in a bid to secure the judges’ votes and take home the first Olympic breaking medals,” reads the rules. 

While breaking is the only new sport this year, three of the Tokyo 2020 additions sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing will be retained in Paris. This was an intentional choice by the IOC, as they view these (including breaking), as sports “closely associated with young people and reward creativity and athletic performance.”

“All four are easy to take up and participants form communities that are very active on social media,” according to the Olympics’ page for this year’s games. 

Building on sustainability
Paris Olympics: Aquatic Center
The Aquatic Centre during a water polo test run. (Photo Credit: Paris 2024 on Facebook)

With the IOC’s sustainability roadmap, we can expect fewer permanent Olympic venues to be built moving forward. Part of their proposal is to “maximize the use of existing facilities and temporary and demountable structures,” alongside requiring new permanent facilities to offer long-term benefits for their communities. 

The Tokyo Olympics alone was already an indicator of this, with only eight compared to Rio 2016’s 10 new venues in recent memory. In fact, some new venues in Tokyo have already been reopened to the public according to the International Olympic Committee. 

The Paris Olympics seeks to take that up a notch, as 95 percent of their venues either already pre-existed or are temporary. As we previously highlighted, historical landmarks and popular football and rugby stadiums will host much of the games in July.

Only three permanent facilities were built this year: the adidas Arena in Paris (basketball), the Aquatics Centre in Saint-Denis (artistic swimming, diving, water polo), and the Le Bourget Sport Climbing Venue’s indoor facilities. 

On top of hosting the Olympic games, these venues will cover much-needed necessities in their areas. For instance, the adidas Arena will become Paris’ “mid-sized” venue with its 8,000-seater capacity, while the Aquatics Centre will become a state-of-the-art facility for France’s swimming community among others. 

Given that new Olympic stadiums tend to be forgotten relics, it’s a welcome sign that Paris 2024’s new creations have been limited to three venues that will even benefit local communities by next year! 

Third time’s a charm
Paris Olympics Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower featuring the Olympic rings. (Photo Credit: Paris 2024 on Facebook)

With Paris’ 2024 hosting, France chronologically became the second nation to hold the Summer Olympic games thrice, joining the United Kingdom which first achieved this with London 2012. As it stands, only six host nations have hosted the games more than once, so what more if you do it thrice, right?

And while Germany and Japan may catch up soon, nothing beats being one of the first countries to have such a privilege.

Banner Image from the Olympics.

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