Paris Unveils Olympic Transformation: Seine River Cleanup and Versailles Arenas

The Seine River will be cleaned after 150 years, it will be possible to swim and dive in it, and the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games will be held on the famous river

by Sededin Dedovic
Paris Unveils Olympic Transformation: Seine River Cleanup and Versailles Arenas
© Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images

The stage is set for the 2024 Olympic Games in the iconic City of Light, Paris, where history will be made once again. Scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11, this will be the third time that Paris has hosted the prestigious event, and it is safe to say that the city has the status of a key player in the history of the Olympic Games.

As this world event is anticipated, the city faces challenges and unfulfilled promises, creating a mixed atmosphere of excitement and discontent among residents and visitors alike. Namely, the city administration did not do even half of what they announced when they received the status of host of the Olympic Games.

Discovering new horizons

As the countdown to the 2024 Olympics begins, Paris is gearing up to showcase its diverse landscapes. At the Summer Games, which started in 1900 and later in 1924, Paris has already been the host twice.

However, this time the tournament promises to transcend geographical boundaries, with events not only in Paris but also in other parts of France, including Lille and Marseille, two cities with a long and glorious history.

A revolutionary move and a novelty have been announced, as surfing makes its Olympic debut in Tahiti, a French overseas territory located almost 16,000 kilometers from the heart of Paris. The new discipline will attract a lot of attention, because 90 percent of the world is not familiar with the rules and context of this sport.

Even when you take Tahiti as a location, beautiful landscapes and wonderful sea, the spectacle is guaranteed.
Paris has carefully prepared different spaces, each of which has its own unique charm. At the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées is the historic Place de la Concorde, a place steeped in history.

From July 27 to August 10, this iconic square will be transformed into the center of urban sports, where competitions in BMX freestyle, skateboarding and 3×3 basketball will be held. We can't wait to see the scenes from the iconic square and aerial shots with drones.

Equestrian fans will be treated to the grandeur of Versailles, with a temporary outdoor arena set up west of the Grand Canal. Another temporary arena, in front of the Eiffel Tower, will host beach volleyball, judo and wrestling competitions, adding a touch of magic to these iconic landmarks.

Paris really has a lot to offer because it is the capital of European and perhaps world culture.

Versailles, France© Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images

Dissatisfaction of citizens

While the world awaits the spectacle, not all Parisians share the enthusiasm.

The promise that the 2024 Olympics will be "open to all" seems to have exceptions, as citizens express their dissatisfaction with the decisions of the city authorities. Pre-election promises remain unfulfilled, leading to blocked zones and evictions.

These reasons were indeed a stumbling block between the citizens and the city administration, but when the first tourists and the first sports delegations start arriving, the Olympic spirit will take over the city and we are convinced that the citizens will forget all these things they were dissatisfied with.

Another thing that has not been fulfilled concerns urban public transport. Namely, in a surprising announcement in November, the mayor Anne Hidalgo said that there will be free bus and underground transportation during the Games, she promised it during her candidacy, but unfortunately it will not be implemented.

The reason is small administrative disagreements that will cause disappointment to tourists because free transportation has been announced several times. Furthermore, plans for four new metro lines have been abandoned, leaving local residents frustrated.

Although the mayor really wanted to fulfill these promises, it must be clear that she could not fulfill it alone without the support of other officials, but it seems that it is less important to Parisians, so they blame the mayor in the first place.

Cleansing Legacy

Amid the challenges, the 2024 Paris Olympics hold significant promise for the city's residents. The historical clean-up of the Seine River, a project costing 1.4 billion euros, aims to restore the once polluted waterway.

For more than a century, swimming in the Sena was forbidden due to its dirty and polluted state. The legacy of the 2024 Olympic Games seeks to overturn this ban, allowing swimmers and divers to enjoy the water again. The project addresses a century-old issue stemming from industrial waste and population growth, and is expected to revive aquatic life in the river.

Preparations for this big project have already begun, and the river will play an important role in the next Games.

Seine River© Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images

The River Seine will now take center stage at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games.

A flotilla of 160 boats will transport 10,000 athletes along six kilometers, symbolizing the transformation and revival of this historic waterway. There will be magnificent scenes, because for a long time we have not had this kind of ceremony for the opening of the games.

The organizers invite citizens to be happy because this experience happens once in a lifetime, they also emphasized the importance of the river for the city. A river that has been mentioned in many books and the most beautiful poetic works of all time.

The city is heavily preparing for the magnificence of the games, dissatisfaction simmers among the citizens due to unfulfilled promises and inconveniences, but we repeat that when the Olympic spirit enters the city, all this will be forgotten while the eyes of the whole world will be on Paris.

The City of Light will surely be the center of the world this summer, and we can't wait for the opening ceremony on the Seine River.