The opening ceremony for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris may be abandoned over terror fears, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned.
France has hyped up expectations for the ceremony over for several years. It is one of the few opening ceremonies to take place outside the main stadium.
However, this event–to take place on the river Seine–may now never take place, said Macron yesterday.
Speaking to media, the French president presented a scenario where France confronts a spate of terror incidents in the run-up to the Games.
“You’re 15 days from the Olympic Games. You have a series of terrorist attacks. What do you do?” he asked.
“Well, you don’t organise (an opening ceremony) on the Seine.”
Macron then insisted those organising the Paris Olympics are “professionals”, and said there are contingency plans in place if the country does see an uptick in terror.
“You have to be prepared for everything,” he said. “If there’s a surge of international or regional tensions, if there is a series of attacks … there’s a plan B.”
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— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 29, 2023
Currently, French authorities are still committed to holding its ‘Plan A’ opening ceremony. French planners are expecting as many as 400,000 spectators to attend.
“It will be a moment of beauty, of real art, of celebrating sport and our values, with the Seine and the capital as the theatre,” Macron told reporters.
Details of the ‘Plan B’ ceremony meanwhile are scarce, with organisers saying they are unsure where the event would be held if the Seine spectacle is cancelled.
The most likely venue for the event would be north Paris’s Stade de France, set to host the closing ceremony for the event in August.
However, that venue’s director general, Alexandra Boutelier, claims she has no knowledge of any Plan B ceremony.
She added this does not mean that the stadium would not be the contingency location for the event, admitting the public almost “never” hear about such emergency plans before they happen.
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— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) December 21, 2023