Seine-sational? Paris rehearses waterborne opening ceremony for 2024 Olympics

Some 40 boats took part in practice sessions for the ambitious opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics on the Seine on Monday, almost a full year before the sporting extravaganza begins.


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The river running through the center of the City of Lights stopped all circulation Monday morning as boats sailed along the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) route that a delegation of contestants, along with television crews and TV crews, are scheduled to take next July . emergency services.

For the first time in Olympic history, the opening ceremony will take place outside the main Olympic stadium, with competitors and officials traveling across Paris on a flotilla of more than 100 boats.

Ensuring the safety of the participants, as well as the hundreds of thousands of people on the banks of the Seine, is a huge challenge for organizers.

About 40 ships simulating the arrival of the delegation set sail on Monday, with another 18 ships for emergency services, organizers and anchor broadcasters.

“We needed to test a new way of filming the ceremony,” event director Thierry Reble said ahead of time.

The choreography is by Thomas Jolly, a 41-year-old French theater director whose plans remain a secret.

French police also took part in the rehearsal of the innovative Paris Olympics opening ceremony. © Bertrand Guay, AFP

Organizers have sold tickets to some 100,000 prize-winning attractions along the river and authorized hundreds of thousands of people to watch for free on the riverbank.

The traditional torch relay ahead of the Games was also hailed as “incredible” by chief organizer Tony Estanguet.

During the 80-day relay, the torch will arrive at the southern port of Marseille by boat from Greece, and then pass through the famous Mont Saint-Michel in northern France, the Palace of Versailles and the French Caribbean.

The Paris Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.


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