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Games of the XXXIII Olympiad
Emblem of the 2024 Summer Olympics
Host city Paris, France
MottoGames wide open
( French: Ouvrons grand les Jeux) [1] [2]
Athletes10,500 (quota limit) [3]
Events329 in 32 sports
Opening26 July 2024
Closing11 August 2024
Stadium Jardins du Trocadéro and the Seine
(Opening ceremony)
Stade de France
(athletics competition, closing ceremony) [4]
Summer
Winter
2024 Summer Paralympics

The 2024 Summer Olympics ( French: Jeux olympiques d'été de 2024), officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad (French: Jeux de la XXXIIIe Olympiade) and commonly known as Paris 2024, is an upcoming international multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in France, with Paris as the main host city and 16 other cities spread across metropolitan France, plus one subsite in Tahiti—an island within the French overseas country and overseas collectivity of French Polynesia. [5]

Paris was awarded the Games at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on 13 September 2017. After multiple withdrawals that left only Paris and Los Angeles in contention, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved a process to concurrently award the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics to the two cities. Having previously hosted in 1900 and 1924, Paris will become the second city, after London (who were the hosts in 1908, 1948 and 2012) to host the Summer Olympics three times. Paris 2024 will mark the centenary of Paris 1924, and these Olympic Games will be the sixth hosted by France ( three in summer and three in winter), and the first French Olympics since the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. Following Paris 2024, the Summer Games will return to the traditional four-year Olympiad cycle, as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paris 2024 will feature the debut of breaking (also known as breakdancing) [6] as an Olympic event, and it will be the final Olympic Games held during the presidency of IOC President Thomas Bach. [7] The Games will be the first to feature identical number of athletes between men and women. Questions regarding the participation of Russian, Belarusian and Israeli athletes have been debated in the lead-up to the event. The Games is expected to cost €8.3 billion. [8]

Bidding process

The five candidate cities were Paris, Hamburg, Budapest, Rome, and Los Angeles. The bidding process was slowed by withdrawals, political uncertainty and deterring costs. [9] Hamburg withdrew its bid on 29 November 2015 after holding a referendum. [10] Rome withdrew on 21 September 2016, citing fiscal difficulties. [11] Budapest withdrew on 22 February 2017, after a petition against the bid collected more signatures than necessary for a referendum. [12] [13] [14]

Following these withdrawals, the IOC Executive Board met on 9 June 2017 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss the 2024 and 2028 bid processes. [15] [16] The International Olympic Committee formally proposed electing the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host cities at the same time in 2017, a proposal which an Extraordinary IOC Session approved on 11 July 2017 in Lausanne. [16] The IOC set up a process whereby the LA 2024 and Paris 2024 bid committees met with the IOC to discuss which city would host the Games in 2024 and 2028, and whether it was possible to select the host cities for both at the same time. [17]

Following the decision to award the two Games simultaneously, Paris was understood to be the preferred host for 2024. On 31 July 2017, the IOC announced Los Angeles as the sole candidate for 2028, [18] [19] enabling Paris to be confirmed as host for 2024. Both decisions were ratified at the 131st IOC Session on 13 September 2017. [20]

Host city election

Paris was elected as the host city on 13 September 2017 at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru. The two French IOC members, Guy Drut and Tony Estanguet, were ineligible to vote under the rules of the Olympic Charter.

2024 Summer Olympics
bidding results
City Nation Votes
Paris   France Unanimous

Development and preparations

Venues

Most of the Olympic events will be held in the city of Paris and its metropolitan region, including the neighbouring cities of Saint-Denis, Le Bourget, Nanterre, Versailles, and Vaires-sur-Marne. The handball tournaments will be held in Lille, which is 225 km from the host city; the sailing and some football games will be held in the Mediterranean city of Marseille, which is 777 km from the host city; meanwhile, the surfing events are expected to be held in Teahupo'o village in the overseas territory of French Polynesia, which is 15,716 km from the host city. Football will also be hosted in another five cities, which are Bordeaux, Décines-Charpieu, Nantes, Nice and Saint-Étienne, some of which are home to Ligue 1 clubs.

Grand Paris zone

Stade de France with uncovered athletics track during the 2003 World Championships
Paris Aquatic Centre
Porte de La Chapelle Arena
Venue Events Capacity Status
Yves du Manoir Stadium Field hockey 15,000 Renovated
Stade de France Rugby Sevens 77,083 Existing
Athletics (track and field)
Closing Ceremony
Paris La Défense Arena [a] Aquatics (swimming, water polo finals) 15,220
Porte de La Chapelle Arena Badminton 8,000 Additional
Gymnastics (rhythmic)
Paris Aquatic Centre [21] [22] Aquatics (water polo preliminaries and playoffs, diving, artistic swimming) 5,000
Le Bourget Climbing Venue Sport climbing 5,000 Temporary
Arena Paris Nord Boxing (preliminaries, quarterfinals) 6,000 Existing
Modern pentathlon (fencing rounds)
Notes
  1. ^ The local organising committee uses the non-sponsored name Arena 92, which was the venue's name during its initial planning phase. By the time it opened in 2017, the name had changed to U Arena (also non-sponsored) and then to the current Paris-La Défense Arena in 2018 through a sponsorship deal.

Paris Centre zone

Champ de Mars
Grand Palais
Les Invalides
Parc des Princes
Stade Roland Garros
Venue Events Capacity Status
Parc des Princes Football (preliminaries and finals) 48,583 Existing
Roland Garros Stadium Tennis 34,000
Boxing (finals)
Philippe Chatrier Court (with retractable roof) Boxing 15,000
Tennis
Court Suzanne Lenglen (with retractable roof) [23] Tennis 10,000
Court Simonne Mathieu and secondary courts 9,000 (5,000+2,000+8x250)
Paris Expo Porte de Versailles Volleyball 12,000
Table Tennis 6,000
Handball (preliminaries) 6,000
Weightlifting
Bercy Arena Gymnastics (artistic and trampoline) 15,000
Basketball (finals)
Grand Palais Fencing 8,000
Taekwondo
Place de la Concorde Basketball (3x3) 30,000 Temporary
Breakdancing
Cycling (BMX freestyle)
Skateboarding
Pont d'Iéna Aquatics (marathon swimming) 13,000
(3,000 sitting)
Athletics (marathon, race walk)
Cycling (road, time trial)
Triathlon
Eiffel Tower Stadium (Champ de Mars) Beach Volleyball 12,000
Grand Palais Éphémère Judo 8,000
Wrestling
Les Invalides Archery 8,000

Versailles zone

Le Golf National
Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
Château de Versailles
Vaires-Torcy Nautical Centre
Venue Events Capacity Status
Gardens of the Palace of Versailles Equestrian 80,000
(22,000 + 58,000)
Temporary
Modern pentathlon (excluding fencing rounds)
Le Golf National Golf 35,000 Existing
Élancourt Hill Cycling (Mountain biking) 25,000
Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Cycling (track) 5,000
Cycling (BMX racing) 5,000

Outlying venues

Parc Olympique Lyonnais
Marseille
Venue Events Capacity Status
Pierre Mauroy Stadium ( Lille) Basketball (preliminaries) 26,000 Existing
Handball (finals)
National Olympic Nautical Stadium of Île-de-France ( Vaires-sur-Marne) Rowing 22,000
Canoe-Kayak (sprint)
Canoe-Kayak (slalom)
Stade Vélodrome ( Marseille) Football (6 preliminaries, women's quarter-final and one men's semi-final) 67,394
Parc Olympique Lyonnais ( Lyon) Football (6 preliminaries, men's quarter-final and one women's semi-final) 59,186
Stade Matmut Atlantique ( Bordeaux) Football (6 preliminaries, women's quarter-final, men's bronze medal match) 42,115
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard ( Saint-Étienne) Football (6 preliminaries, men's quarter-final, women's bronze medal match) 41,965
Allianz Riviera ( Nice) Football (6 preliminaries, quarterfinals) 35,624
Stade de la Beaujoire ( Nantes) Football (6 preliminaries, quarterfinals) 35,322
Old Port of Marseille ( Marseille) Sailing 5,000
Taiarapu-Ouest ( Tahiti) Surfing 5,000
National Shooting Centre ( Châteauroux) Shooting 3,000

Non-competitive

Venue Events Capacity Status
Champ de Mars, Jardins du Trocadéro and River Seine Opening Ceremony 30,000
600,000
Temporary
L'Île-Saint-Denis Olympic Village 17,000 Additional
Parc de l'Aire des Vents, Dugny Media Village Temporary
Le Bourget Exhibition Centre and Media Village IBC 15,000 Existing
Paris Congress Centre MPC


Medals

Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet unveiled the Olympic and Paralympic medals for the Games in February 2024, which on the obverse featured embedded hexagon-shaped tokens of scrap iron which had been taken from the original construction of the Eiffel Tower, with the Games logo engraved into it. [24] Approximately 5,084 medals would be produced by the French mint Monnaie de Paris, and were designed by Chaumet, a luxury jewellery firm based in Paris. [25] The reverse of the medals features Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, inside the Panathenaic Stadium which hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896. Parthenon and the Eiffel Tower can also be seen in the background on both sides of the medal. [26] Each medal weighs 455–529 g (16–18.6 oz), has a diameter of 85mm (3.3 in) and is 9.2mm (0.36 in) thick. [27] The gold medals are made with 98.8 percent silver and 1.13 percent gold, while the bronze medals are made up with copper, zinc, and tin. [28]

Security

France reached an agreement with Europol and the UK Home Office to help strengthen security and "facilitate operational information exchange" and "international law enforcement cooperation" during the Games. [29] Within the agreements, it was planned to deploy more drones and sea barriers to prevent small boats from crossing the channel illegally. [30] Police in Paris held inspections and rehearsals within their bomb disposal unit before the Games, similar to their preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup at the Stade de France. [31] French president Emmanuel Macron stated France were prepared to switch the location of the opening ceremony depending on the security situation. [32]

Volunteers

The Paris 2024 volunteer platform for the Olympic and Paralympic Games was opened to the public in March 2023. There were expected to be 45,000 volunteers recruited worldwide for the Games. [33] Following the end of registration on 3 May 2023, over 300,000 applications had been submitted to the Paris Organizing Committee, exceeding the number of applicants for the previous two Olympics. [34] Applicants were notified of the outcome of their application between September and December 2023. [35]

Ceremonies

A viewing party for the 2020 Summer Olympics at Place du Trocadéro, which will host the official protocol for 2024.

In July 2021, Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet stated that the COJOP2024 was conducting a feasibility study on hosting the opening and closing ceremonies outside of a traditional stadium setting, so that they could "marry the best of Paris–the iconic sites–to the possibility of engaging with hundreds of thousands of people, maybe more." [36] This concept of an "open Games" was exemplified in the Paris 2024 handover presentation during the Tokyo 2020 closing ceremony, [36] which featured a live segment from a viewing party at Place du Trocadéro. [37] Estanguet expected the sites for the ceremonies to be announced by the end of the year. [36]

On 13 December 2021, it was announced that the opening ceremony will feature athletes being transported by boat from Pont d'Austerlitz to Pont d'Iéna along the Seine river. The 6-kilometre (3.7-mile) route will pass landmarks such as the Louvre, Notre-Dame de Paris, and Place de la Concorde, and feature cultural presentations. The official protocol will take place at a 30,000 seat "mini-stadium" at the Trocadéro. Organisers stated that the ceremony would be the most "spectacular and accessible opening ceremony in Olympic history", with Estanguet stating that it would be free to attend, and estimating that it could attract as many as 600,000 spectators. Thus, the Games will return to its full spectator capacity after the 2020 Games in Tokyo were held mostly behind closed doors as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic. [38] [39] [40] [41] In January 2024 organizers announced attendence would be closer to 300,000, with 220,000 free tickets distributed due to security concerns. [42]

On 23 September 2022, it was announced that the closing ceremonies would be conducted the traditional way, as they will take place at Stade de France. [43]

The Games

Sports

In accordance with the current rules of the International Olympic Committee, which have been in force since 2017, the program of the Summer Olympics consists of 28 mandatory "core" sports that persist between Games and a maximum of six optional sports that can be added for each edition of the Games.

The optional sports are selected by the relevant Organising Committee, and included in a list that must be sent to the International Olympic Committee not less than five years before each edition in order to improve local interest, [44] [45] provided that the total number of participants does not exceed 10,500 athletes. [46]

During the 131st IOC Session in September 2017, the IOC approved the 28 sports of the 2016 program for Paris 2024, while also inviting the Paris Organising Committee to submit up to five additional sports for consideration. [47] [48]

When Paris was bidding for the Games in August 2017, the Paris Organising Committee announced that it would hold talks with the IOC and professional esports organisations about the possibility of introducing competitive events in 2024. [49] [50] In July 2018, the IOC confirmed that it would not consider esports for the 2024 Olympics. [51] On 21 February 2019, the Paris Organising Committee proposed the inclusion of breakdancing (breaking), along with skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing - three sports that debuted at the then-upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics - as optional sports. [52] [53] [51]

All four additional sports were approved during the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 24 June 2019. [53] [51] [54]

Scheduled to feature 32 sports encompassing 329 events, Paris 2024 will be the first Summer Olympics since 1960 to have fewer events than the previous edition. In the table below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

The disciplines of karate and baseball/softball have both been removed from the program since 2020, with the loss of 10 events in total, while four events have been dropped from the weightlifting discipline.

In canoeing, two sprint events have been replaced with two slalom events, keeping the overall total at 16. Introduced as a new discipline, breaking has added two events to the program, while in sport climbing, the previous "combined" event has been split up to create the separate events of "speed climbing" and "boulder-and-lead" for each gender. [55]

In February 2023, USA Boxing announced its decision to boycott the 2023 World Championships (organized by the International Boxing Association) where Russian and Belarusian athletes would compete with no restrictions, also accusing the IBA of attempting to sabotage IOC-approved qualification pathway for the 2024 Summer Olympics: Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Czechia, Sweden and Canada later joined the U.S. [56]

2024 Summer Olympic Sports program

Participating National Olympic Committees

The following is a list of National Olympic Committees who have qualified at least one athlete for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Number of athletes by National Olympic Committees

As of 21 February 2024

Calendar

The following schedule is correct as of the latest schedule released in January 2023. The exact schedule may change in due time. [57]

All times and dates use Central European Summer Time ( UTC+2)
OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medal events CC Closing ceremony
July/August 2024 July August Events
24th
Wed
25th
Thu
26th
Fri
27th
Sat
28th
Sun
29th
Mon
30th
Tue
31st
Wed
1st
Thu
2nd
Fri
3rd
Sat
4th
Sun
5th
Mon
6th
Tue
7th
Wed
8th
Thu
9th
Fri
10th
Sat
11th
Sun
Ceremonies OC CC
Aquatics Artistic swimming 1 1 2
Diving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Marathon swimming 1 1 2
Swimming 4 3 5 3 5 4 3 4 4 35
Water polo 1 1 12
Archery 1 1 1 1 1 5
Athletics 2 1 5 3 4 5 5 5 8 9 1 48
Badminton 1 1 1 2 5
Basketball Basketball 1 1 2
3×3 Basketball 2 2
Boxing 1 2 2 4 4 13
Breaking 1 1 2
Canoeing Slalom 1 1 1 1 2 6
Sprint 4 3 3 10
Cycling Road cycling 2 1 1 4
Track cycling 1 1 2 2 2 1 3 12
BMX 2 2 4
Mountain biking 1 1 2
Equestrian
Dressage 1 1 2
Eventing 2 2
Jumping 1 1 2
Fencing 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 12
Field hockey 1 1 2
Football 1 1 2
Golf 1 1 2
Gymnastics Artistic 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 10
Rhythmic 1 1 2
Trampoline 2 2
Handball 1 1 2
Judo 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 15
Modern pentathlon 1 1 2
Rowing 2 4 4 4 14
Rugby sevens 1 1 2
Sailing 2 2 2 2 2 10
Shooting 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 15
Skateboarding 1 1 1 1 4
Sport climbing 1 1 1 1 4
Surfing 2 2
Table tennis 1 1 1 1 1 5
Taekwondo 2 2 2 2 8
Tennis 1 2 2 5
Triathlon 1 1 1 3
Volleyball Beach volleyball 1 1 2
Volleyball 1 1 2
Weightlifting 2 2 2 3 1 10
Wrestling 3 3 3 3 3 3 18
Daily medal events N/A 14 13 18 14 17 19 22 28 20 16 17 21 26 32 39 13 329
Cumulative total N/A 14 27 45 59 76 95 117 145 165 181 198 219 245 277 316 329
July/August 2024
24th
Wed
25th
Thu
26th
Fri
27th
Sat
28th
Sun
29th
Mon
30th
Tue
31st
Wed
1st
Thu
2nd
Fri
3rd
Sat
4th
Sun
5th
Mon
6th
Tue
7th
Wed
8th
Thu
9th
Fri
10th
Sat
11th
Sun
Total events
July August

Marketing

Emblem

The emblem for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics was unveiled on 21 October 2019 at the Grand Rex. Inspired by Art Deco, [58] [59] it is a representation of Marianne, the national personification of France, with a flame formed in negative space by her hair. The emblem also resembles a gold medal. Tony Estanguet explained that the emblem symbolised "the power and the magic of the Games", and the Games being "for people". The use of a female figure also serves as an homage to the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, which were the first to allow women to participate. [60] The emblem was designed by the French designer Sylvain Boyer [61] with the French design agencies Ecobranding & Royalties. [62] [63] [61]

The emblem for Paris 2024 was considered the biggest new logo release of 2019 by many design magazines. [64] [65] An Opinion Way survey shows that 83 per cent of French people say they like the new Paris 2024 Games emblem. Approval ratings were high, with 82 per cent of those surveyed finding it aesthetically appealing and 78 per cent finding it to be creative. [66] It was met with some mockery on social media, one user commenting that the logo "would be better suited to a dating site or a hair salon". [60]

For the first time, the 2024 Summer Paralympics is sharing the same emblem as its corresponding Olympics, with no difference, reflecting a shared "ambition" between both events. [67]

Mascots

The Olympic Phryge (left), the official mascot of the 2024 Summer Olympics, and the Paralympic Phryge (right), the official mascot of the 2024 Summer Paralympics. Note that the lighter variant of the French flag is being used.

On 14 November 2022, The Phryges were unveiled as the mascots of the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics; they are a pair of anthropomorphic Phrygian caps, a historic French symbol of freedom and liberty. [68] [69] Marianne is commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap, including in the Eugène Delacroix painting, Liberty Leading the People. [70] [71] The two mascots share a motto of "Alone we go faster, but together we go further". [72]

Corporate sponsorship

Belgian beverage company AB InBev became the first Worldwide Olympic Partner during the Games. [73]

Sponsors of the 2024 Summer Olympics [74]
Worldwide Olympic Partners
Premium Partners
Official Partners
Official Suppliers and Supporters

Broadcasting rights

In France, domestic rights to the 2024 Summer Olympics are owned by Warner Bros. Discovery (formerly Discovery Inc.) via Eurosport, with free-to-air coverage sub-licensed to the country's public broadcaster France Télévisions. [81]

Concerns and controversies

Exploitation of workers' rights

French newspaper Libération reported that workers were being paid around €80 ($86.7) per day without any official declaration, social security, or resting day. Some workers expressed anger and dissatisfaction as they never receive the salary guaranteed on the contract, while some said that there are no proper safety materials for them when doing high risk jobs. [82]

Security concerns

A news report in The Times cited an analysis by Dragonfly, a security and geopolitical firm, by which the level of terror threats for the Paris 2024 Games remains "severe", including the potential use of bombing drone attacks. It was reported that the British Olympic Association will provide an app to athletes and staff, so they can have access to instant help and the ability to share their location with security staff. [83]

The main airports in Paris will be closed on July 26 during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games for security reasons. Security perimeters will be set up around the event venues, strictly restricting the movement of cars, including taxis. [84]

In February 2024, the French government announced that, as a security precaution, the number of spectators for the opening ceremony across the Seine would be reduced from 600,000 to 300,000. This plan was proposed by Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin in 2022. [85]

Disruption to resident Parisians

Many resident Parisians expressed their concern that the games would disrupt their day-to-day lives. Polls showed that half of residents were planning to leave the city, and three-quarters were worried about transport and security at the games. However, the Head of the Paris Olympics Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet, has stated that the "magical" Olympics would be worth the disruption. [86]

Participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes

The potential participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes has remained controversial amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In February 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended sports federations to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from participating in international tournaments, citing the violation of the Olympic Truce. [87] Furthermore, Ukrainian athletes argue that they are automatically at a disadvantage given their struggles with Russian missile attacks, concerns about family members, and destroyed Ukrainian infrastructure while Russians are barely impacted and often support Russia's war. [88]

In January 2023, the IOC announced plans to introduce Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals. In response, Poland's sport and tourism minister stated that up to 40 countries would consider boycotting the 2024 Olympics if the Russians and Belarusians are not excluded. [89] [90] On 3 February 2023, the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees of the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) issued a joint statement opposing the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. [91] [92] Countries which have threatened a boycott include Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. [93] [94] Among the other countries where there is speculation about a boycott include the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. [95]

On 1 February 2023, the United Nations released a report, commending the IOC for considering reinstating Russian and Belarusian athletes, and urged the organization to go further and make sure that "no athlete should be required to take sides in the conflict", urging the IOC to "take more steps to align its recommendations with international human rights standards on non-discrimination." The UN also stated that the IOC should "[ensure] the non-discrimination of any athlete on the basis of their nationality. The report summarized that "[the condition to condemn Russia's invasion] opens the door to pressure and interpretation. The same rules must apply to all athletes, whatever their nationality. This includes the rule that any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited". [96] The UN Special Rapporteur Alexandra Xanthaki was accused of using Soviet propaganda tactics, namely whataboutism, while advocating for the full reinstatement of Russian and Belarusian athletes; when pressed on the matter of close links between athletes and state agencies in these countries, she referenced wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Israel, questioning the lack of similar discourse surrounding those conflicts. She also stated that all nation states of the Global South support Russia's return. [97] [98]

On 26 January 2023, The Olympic Council of Asia invited Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, under a neutral flag and without possibility to win medals and win Asian quota places on Olympic Games. [99] Russian Deputy Sport Minister Alexey Morozov claimed that similar statement was made by "African Countries". [100] On 2 February 2023, the United States welcomed the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes, but only under a neutral designation with strict criteria. [101] On 3 February, Czechia confirmed it will not join a potential boycott. [102] On 8 February, Greece spoke out against boycotts of any kind, as well as the politicization of the Olympics, affirming their participation in the Games. [103] In March 2023, Australia and Germany indicated they would welcome Russia, although Germany noted it is not something they like. [104] [105]

In February 2023, the IOC confirmed that it has not entered official discussions as to whether Russian and Belarusian athletes could compete, but the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, has stated that it should not be up to national governments to decide who gets to participate in international sporting tournaments, indicating that he was also against the banning of athletes from Russia and Belarus. [106] On 22 March 2023, Bach further reiterated his support for reinstating Russian and Belarusian athletes, expressing opposition to political influence on sports and "any suggestion that Russians should be treated as if they have collective guilt". [107]

The IOC published a statement stating that it supported the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes, as long as they did not "actively" support the war and as long as their flag, anthem, colours, and organizations were excluded (thus preventing them from competing under the Russian Olympic Committee as in Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022). The IOC additionally stated that they "appreciated" the Olympic Council of Asia giving Russian/Belarusian athletes access to Asian competitions, and compared the situation to the Independent Olympic Participants at the 1992 Summer Olympics. [108] The IOC stated that "the IOC's exploration enjoys the overwhelming support of the International Federations, their umbrella body (the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), including all the five Continental Associations (Association of NOCs of Africa, European Olympic Committees, Olympic Council of Asia, Oceania National Olympic Committees and Panam Sports) plus the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), representing all 206 National Olympic Committees." [108] The UN and IOC statements provoked an angry reaction from Ukrainian officials, who accused them of appeasing Russia. [109]

On 4 March 2023, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa announced their support for the IOC's decision to reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutrals, as well as the countries' participation in the Olympics. [110]

On 10 March 2023, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) became the first Olympic governing body to officially reinstate Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, in time for the start of the qualification for the 2024 Games. [111] Protesting this decision, Denmark, [112] France, [113] Germany, [114] and Poland [115] cancelled upcoming World Cup fencing events to prevent Russians and Belarusians from participating. In April 2023, it was revealed that the European Fencing Confederation had sent a critical letter to the FIE, outlining their opposition to the FIE's plans to strip the countries, that had indicated they would not grant visas to Russians and Belarusians, from hosting rights and impose sanctions on them. [116]

As of May 2023, after the International Canoe Federation (ICF) reinstated Russian and Belarusian athletes, the number of summer sport international federations to do so had risen to 10. [117]

In July 2023, the IOC stated that while Russia and Belarus would not be formally invited, their athletes would be allowed to compete as neutrals in a similar manner to Wimbledon after it reversed its ban of Russians and Belarusians that year. [118] This was confirmed by the IOC in December 2023, with Russian and Belarusian athletes allowed to compete as neutrals without anthems or flags for the upcoming Games. [119]

On 31 January 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sport must make a concrete decision on whether Russian athletes will participate in the 2024 Olympics. [120] [121]

Participation of Israeli athletes

The participation of Israeli athletes becomes a point of contention following the outbreak of the Israel–Hamas war. The IOC warned Arab and pro-Palestinian athletes that they would be banned from participating if they refuse to compete with Israeli athletes, [122] recalling the case of Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine, who was suspended for 10 years by the International Judo Federation for refusing to fight an Israeli athlete during the 2020 Summer Olympics. [123] An IOC spokesman stated that "The IOC is committed to the concept of individual responsibility and athletes cannot be held responsible for the actions of their governments," adding that the IOC will "ensure that swift action is taken, as during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020." [124]

In November 2023, Russia accused the IOC of having double standards by not sanctioning Israel due to its military actions in the Gaza Strip, as Palestine is also an IOC member. The IOC later responded by saying that the Israel–Hamas war was unique compared to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, since the latter occurred during the Olympic Truce, and that it would take swift action if any discrimination against Israeli athletes occurred. [125] [126] In an interview with L'Équipe on 21 December 2023, the president of the Israeli Olympic Committee, Yael Arad, assured that Israeli athletes would "100 per cent" be present, and that measures for the athletes would be put in place to ensure their safety. [127]

Disqualification and reinstatement of Ukrainian fencer

In July 2020 (and reconfirmed in September 2020, January 2021 and September 2021) by public written notice, the FIE had replaced its previous handshake requirement with a "salute" by the opposing fencers, and written in its public notice that handshakes were "suspended until further notice." [128] [129] [130] [131] Nevertheless, in July 2023 Ukrainian four-time world fencing individual sabre champion Olga Kharlan was disqualified at the World Fencing Championships by the FIE for not shaking the hand of her defeated Russian opponent, though Kharlan instead offered a tapping of blades in acknowledgement. [132] [133]

The next day, the IOC president Thomas Bach sent a letter to Kharlan, where he expressed empathy for her and that in light of the situation, she was being guaranteed a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics. [134] [135] [136] He wrote further: "as a fellow fencer, it is impossible for me to imagine how you feel at this moment. The war against your country, the suffering of the people in Ukraine, the uncertainty around your participation at the Fencing World Championships ... and then the events which unfolded yesterday - all this is a roller coaster of emotions and feelings. It is admirable how you are managing this incredibly difficult situation, and I would like to express my full support to you. Rest assured that the IOC will continue to stand in full solidarity with the Ukrainian athletes and the Olympic community of Ukraine." [137] [138] [139]

Raid of organising headquarters

French financial prosecutors raided Paris 2024 Olympics headquarters on 18 October 2023 and also targeted event management firms. The raids were part of an investigation opened into suspicion of "illegal taking of interest, favoritism and concealment" involved in the awarding of various contracts. [140]

Azerbaijani "smear" campaign

A report from France's external digital interference fighting body uncovered that several Azerbaijani websites and fake social media profiles attempted a disinformation campaign, downplaying the French's ability to organize the games and threatening a boycott. [141]

Judging tower for surfing in Tahiti

Organisers plan to host the surfing competitions in the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, where they plan to build a nine-ton aluminium tower for the judges. Harsh criticism was drawn from locals and surfers, saying that it threatened damage to the coral reef and that the currently existing wooden tower could be used. A barge struck the reef and damaged it earlier in 2023, which caused construction to be paused. Multiple surfers have protested against the building of it and a local petition against building it gathered 239,000 responses. [142]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d The local NOC is under sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency for non-compliance; if the sanctions are not lifted by July 2024, their athletes would have to compete under a neutral name and flag.
  2. ^ a b The local NOC is currently suspended; if the suspension is not lifted by July 2024, their athletes would have to compete under a neutral name and flag.

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External links

Summer Olympics
Preceded by XXXIII Olympiad
Paris

2024
Succeeded by