In 2024, the capital city of France will host the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad.
This will be the third time that the Olympic Games will take place in Paris, which previously welcomed the world in 1900 and 1924. Paris will become the second city, following London, to host the Olympic Games three times.
These will be the sixth Olympic Games to take place in France, behind only the eight Olympic Games (nine after 2028) which have been hosted by the United States. France has also hosted three editions of the Olympic Winter Games at Chamonix 1924, Grenoble 1968 and Albertville 1992.
The Games will open on July 26, 2024, continuing through to August 11, 2024.
Paris was confirmed as the host city of the 2024 Olympic Games at the 130th IOC Session in Lima, Peru on September 13, 2017. Paris was the only candidate after an agreement was reached for Los Angeles to host the 2028 Olympic Games after having initially expressed interest in 2024. Twelve years earlier, Paris had finished second to London by four votes for the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Prior to that, Paris had been third behind Toronto and Beijing in the voting for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Getting to Know Paris and France
One of the most modern countries in the world, France is a leader among European nations. Its global influence can be felt through its role as a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council as well as its positions in NATO, the G-7, G-20 and the European Union.
Although the largest portion of France (551,500km2) is located in western Europe, five overseas entities – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion – also became part of France proper in the early 21st century. Paris is located in the north of the country.
With a population of more than 67 million (62 million in western Europe), France is the 21st most populous country in the world. Paris itself has a population of 10.843 million, making it the country’s largest city by more than 9 million people. France is a semi-presidential republic divided into 13 metropolitan regions along with the five overseas regions. The president is the head of state while the prime minister is the head of government.
The official language of the country is French. The national anthem, “La Marseillaise”, was first adopted in 1795 and restored in 1870. It was made famous when the National Guard of Marseille sang it while heading into Paris in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars. The French flag, featuring three equal vertical bands of blue, white and red, is known as “le drapeau tricolore” and dates back to 1790.
Paris runs on Central European Time, which is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Paris 2024 Mascot
Though many recent Olympic mascots have taken the form of animals, the Paris 2024 mascot represents an ideal. It is the Olympic Phryge (pronounced “freejh”). The mascot is designed to resemble the Phrygian cap, a symbol of freedom that appears on French stamps and coins, in French art, and in town halls across the country. Marianne–the personification of the French Revolution–wears a Phrygian cap and served as one of the influences on the Games emblem. The Olympic Phryge is described as having a “methodical mind and alluring charm.”
Paris 2024 Torch Relay
Before every edition of the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit by the sun’s rays during a ceremony that takes place within Olympia. This ceremonial lighting connects each edition of the Games to their ancient Olympic roots. For each Games, the flame travels from Greece to the host nation where it embarks on a torch relay.
In the case of Paris 2024, the flame will be lit on April 16, 2024 and then travel from Greece to Marseille, France by boat in order to align with the Paris organizing committee’s principles of sustainability.
Before the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in Paris, the Olympic flame will wind its way across France, spreading the Olympic spirit. The flame is set to arrive in Marseille on May 8, 2024. From there it will make a 68-day journey across the country, visiting 65 French territories along the way – including those overseas – with the help of approximately 10,000 torch bearers.
Paris 2024 Torch
The Paris 2024 torch, created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, has three main conceptual influences: equality, water, and peacefulness. Equality between the Olympics and Paralympics, as well as gender parity between athletes is reflected in the torch’s vertical and horizontal symmetry. The Olympic symbolism of peace and unity is captured in the torch’s smooth curves and rounded lines. Paris 2024’s respect for water (the torch will travel across the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans on the relay, and the Opening Ceremony will take place on the Seine) is incorporated in the way the torch reflects light like the water’s surface. In keeping with the Paris 2024 sustainability goals, the torches will be fashioned of recycled steel and only 2000 torches will be created (approximately five times fewer than previous Olympic Games).
Some of Paris’ best known landmarks will become Olympic venues in 2024. Beach volleyball will be played at the Parc du Champs de Mars while the Eiffel Tower and nearby Seine will be the site for marathon swimming, triathlon and the marathons. Equestrian and modern pentathlon will take over the Château de Versailles while road cycling will head down the Champs-Élysées. There will also be fencing and taekwondo at the Grand Palais and Roland-Garros will host both tennis and boxing.