JWG via DTN 15 January 2023 JT and Rae have been reading the tar baby saga and are trying hard…
Paris Olympics 2024
The Paris Olympics’ Seine River plan is bold, audacious … and risky
… They also plan to stage some long-distance swimming events in the river even though the Seine has teemed with garbage and rancid toilet water for decades. They are counting on the French government’s 1.4 billion euro project to make the river swimmable for the first time in nearly 100 years.
They say they are doing this because a French Olympics should be stylish and stunning and something no one will forget. After two Olympics amid pandemic restrictions and with television ratings dipping and perhaps interest in the Games waning, the International Olympic Committee needs a sensational Olympics and Opening Ceremonies, too.
… for the moment, Paris Games organizers say the ceremony along the Seine is their plan A. Prize-winning French theater director Thomas Jolly is overseeing its artistic content and the closing ceremony at the Stade de France on Aug. 11.
Politics threatens to spoil Paris 2024 Olympics
Emmanuel Macron’s sports extravaganza faces tense geopolitical moment.
(Politico Eu) In less than 200 days — and exactly a century after it last took place in France — Paris will host millions of visitors for the 33rd edition of the Summer Olympic Games.
There are just a couple (well, more than a couple) political problems looming for Olympics organizers: the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas conflict, a dispute over public transport, terrorism, homelessness, furious booksellers on the Seine and even a surfing wave in Tahiti are already threatening to overshadow the City of Light’s big party.
The Paris Olympics Will Showcase Iconic Landmarks and a New Sport
The Eiffel Tower, the Seine River and other famous spots will double as event venues at the 2024 games.
(Bloomberg) As Paris prepares to host the Olympics this summer, officials are turning the city’s iconic landmarks into sports venues. Their goal is to reduce carbon emissions to half the level of previous games, so only a few new facilities are being built. Here’s what to watch for.
A pop-up outdoor arena in front of the Eiffel Tower will host beach volleyball—as well as blind football in the Paralympics—while judo and wrestling events will take place at a nearby indoor stadium. The tower will also serve as the backdrop for the finale of the opening ceremony.
A Swimmable Seine
In one of the biggest tests for French officials, marathon swimming and triathlon events are set to be held in the Seine. The challenge is making the river safe enough: Swimming has been banned since 1923, and pollution in the waterway was once so bad that authorities studied covering it up and possibly using it for parking, according to Jean-Marie Mouchel, a Seine water quality researcher at Sorbonne Université. The cleanup has come a long way since, but recently hit a few snags—races scheduled last summer were canceled because of heavy rainfall and a faulty sewer valve. If the plan succeeds at this year’s games, marathon swimming spectators will see Germany’s Florian Wellbrock defend his gold from 2021 in the storied river, as well as rising US star Katie Grimes chase a medal.
A Breakout Event
Breakdancing will make its Olympic debut at the Place de la Concorde, the vast cobblestone expanse where Marie Antoinette was executed at the guillotine in 1793. Competitors in “breaking,” as the International Olympic Committee officially dubs the sport, will compete individually with windmills, six-steps and other head-spinning feats of strength.
What sports fans won’t see is the city’s most beloved church, whose timber roof and spire were destroyed in a major fire in 2019. Notre-Dame de Paris, undergoing a $900 million restoration, will remain closed and partially shrouded in scaffolding until late 2024, just missing President Emmanuel Macron’s goal to open in time for the Olympics. Visitors will be able to view a virtual-reality exhibit and photo exhibition in front of the cathedral about the reconstruction project, open now.
How the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics are driving the city’s green revolution
Next year’s Paris Olympics aim to be most sustainable ever. But can the plans to be pro-pedestrian, pro-bike, pro-tree and anti-car succeed?
(The Guardian) Most of the events will be held in existing structures such as the Stade de France, originally built for the 1998 football World Cup, or in temporary venues in the heart of the city. Beach volleyball and blind football will take place in front of the Eiffel Tower, BMX freestyle and skateboarding in the Place de la Concorde. The opening ceremony will be a 6km-long river parade through what the official blurb calls the “impressive playing field the athletes will make their own as soon as it ends, the City of Light itself”.
…the Seine…is being cleaned up, so that marathon swimming and triathlons can be held there, and the public can then swim in it for perpetuity. This is part of a €1.4bn national, regional and city project, the plan baignade, to cleanse the river from its source to the sea….the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, …wants to make it a paradise of low pollution and healthy living, as friendly to pedestrians and bicycles as can be, with new developments planned to promote community life.
The programme included the removal of traffic from the left and right banks of the Seine, in 2013 and 2016 respectively, which had been expressways since the 1960s. Important public spaces have been made progressively more pedestrian-friendly, such as the Place de la République in 2014 and the Place de la Bastille in 2020. An “urban forest” of 478 trees is now being planted in the Place de Catalogne, a large traffic roundabout near the Gare Montparnasse. There are plans to make the Champs-Élysées into a pedestrian-friendly “extraordinary garden”. …
A legendary Paris restaurant reopens with a view of Notre Dame’s rebirth and the 2024 Olympics
(AP) The restaurant claims to be the oldest in Paris, its 1582 opening date embossed on the doors. It says King Henri IV ate heron pâté here; ‘’Sun King’’ Louis XIV hosted a meal here involving an entire cow; and presidents, artists like Salvador Dalí, and celebrities including Marilyn Monroe have graced its tables in the generations since.
…the reborn Tour d’Argent offers options for those who want to breathe in its rarefied atmosphere without investing in a full meal: A ground-floor lounge serving croissants in the morning, an adjacent bar serving fireside cocktails in the evening, and a rooftop bar open in the warmer months, where the restaurant’s breathtaking views are on full display.
Notre Dame Cathedral takes center stage in this Paris panorama, a construction site like no other. Artisans are mounting a new spire and roof on the monument, replacing those that collapsed in a 2019 fire that threatened to destroy the entire medieval cathedral.
… Terrail had been mulling a makeover for the Tour d’Argent too, and finally made it happen after an 18-month closure prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID in a sense accelerated things, and also the Olympic Games, which are kind of an accelerator for everything in Paris,” he says.
“We have a front-row seat on the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It’s a great privilege. It starts just there,” he says, pointing at the spot where the unprecedented opening-day extravaganza will unfold along the River Seine on July 26.
Paris City Hall plaza draws holiday visitors and migrant families seeking shelter as Olympics nears
(AP) … About 50 families with children between three months and 10 years old gathered on City Hall plaza on Christmas evening, to meet members of aid groups who distribute food, blankets and diapers and help find temporary lodging. A similar scene plays out most nights beneath the ornate facade of the Paris monument.
Some sat on pieces of cardboard with their suitcases. A toddler who arrived in socks was given shoes, and an older child was given a gift in shiny wrapping.
Aid workers are concerned that Paris authorities will clear out migrants and others sleeping in the rough before next year’s Olympics without providing longer-term housing options. Olympics organizers say they are working with aid groups to find solutions for those in the streets, including the many people who come from around the world to Paris seeking refuge or employment.
France’s Macron says a security crisis could force rethink of Paris’ huge Olympic opening show
(AP) — The giant opening ceremony extravaganza that Paris is planning to hold on the River Seine to launch the Olympic Games could be moved if France is hit again in the run-up by extremist attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
Macron’s comments in a television interview on Wednesday night were a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the deep layers of planning for the July 26 ceremony. Many details about the show remain shrouded in secrecy to preserve its hoped-for wow factor. The security, with tens of thousands of police and soldiers deployed, will be intense.
The athletes will be paraded through the heart of the French capital on boats on the Seine — for the first Summer Games opening ceremony held outside of a usual stadium setting. Both banks of the river will be lined by hundreds of thousands of spectators, behind multiple security cordons.
Olympics logo or dating app? Paris 2024 image prompts mockery.
(WaPo) When Paris unveiled its official logo for the 2024 Summer Olympics, it wasn’t expecting controversy. But that’s exactly what it got, as the design was widely described as a rehashed version of the flame from the Tinder dating app.
For years, the tentative design was a multicolored Eiffel Tower that ruffled zero feathers. But the official design alludes to one of the most sacred French symbols, Marianne, the personification of the French Republic and its vaunted ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity.
Busts of Marianne are virtually everywhere here: in town halls, on postage stamps and even on certain euro coins that celebrate France. But in a country where debating national identity remains something of a national pastime, there are endless disputes over how to properly represent the de facto goddess of a decidedly secular republic.