50 DAYS TO GO

Paris iconic landmarks getting ready for upcoming Olympic Games

Among all the temporary venues, Place de la Concorde, located midway between the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, is undoubtedly the focus of attention.

In Summary

• “The main construction work began in late March, and the dismantling work after the Games will take one to one and a half months," said Maxieme Rosenwald.

• The construction of the temporary venue at Les Invalides faces similar challenges. This site will host archery events for the Olympics and Paralympics and will also be the finish line for the marathon events.

The Olympic rings are seen on the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, on June 7
The Olympic rings are seen on the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, on June 7
Image: XINHUA

With the giant Olympic rings being hoisted onto the Eiffel Tower, there are now less than 50 days until the official opening of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

From the Luxor Obelisk at Place de la Concorde to the golden dome of Les Invalides, and from the Champ de Mars beneath the Eiffel Tower to the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysees, the construction of temporary venues for the Paris Olympics is proceeding rapidly. This effort is part of Paris’ promise to integrate the Olympics into the city, creating a fusion of sport and culture.

“The main construction work began in late March, and the dismantling work after the Games will take one to one and a half months. All temporary venues are expected to be back to normal by mid-October,” said Maxieme Rosenwald, who is in charge of the construction of all temporary venues for the Paris Olympics, in a recent interview.

Among all the temporary venues, Place de la Concorde, located midway between the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, is undoubtedly the focus of attention.

This is Paris’ largest city square and will host 3x3 basketball, BMX freestyle, breaking, and skateboarding events during the Olympics. These events, particularly popular among younger generations, embody the Games’ youthful and urban spirit.

“This summer, spectators at Place de la Concorde will have a fantastic experience. In addition to sports, it will become an urban park with performances, photography exhibitions, street art, and various cultural activities, like a carnival,” said Mathieu Collet, the event general manager of the Urban Park La Concorde.

“Spectators will also be able to watch athletes’ pre-event training, which is a new experience,” he added. “One challenge we face is converting one of the courts from a 3x3 basketball venue to a breaking venue, which will take about 36 hours.”

Since the beginning of the year, various trucks and cranes have been frequently coming and going, with 100 to 250 workers on-site daily, rapidly constructing the stands. Earlier this month, the roof structure for the 3x3 basketball and breaking venues was hoisted into place for the first time, and construction is proceeding on schedule.

“For tourists, being able to watch Olympic events in the city center is an extraordinary experience,” said Rosenwald. “But our biggest challenge is to closely coordinate with the Paris city government to delay or minimize road closures and reduce the impact on local residents’ lives.”

The construction of the temporary venue at Les Invalides faces similar challenges. This site will host archery events for the Olympics and Paralympics and will also be the finish line for the marathon events.

Stands with a capacity of 4,000 spectators have already been constructed on both sides of Avenue du Marechal Gallieni.

“This venue will be open from the first day of the Olympics to the last day of the Paralympics. The challenge lies in the fact that the site originally had heavy traffic, so our assembly work is divided into five stages to gradually occupy space and minimize the impact on local traffic. Our work began on April 12 and will continue until June 17,” said Sebastien Flute, who is in charge of constructing this temporary venue.

The 52-year-old won a gold medal for France in the individual archery event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and his experience as a former athlete allows him to better consider the needs of athletes in venue construction.

On the Pont Alexandre III, which spans the Seine, 6,000 spectator seats have also been installed, with a passage left for pedestrians and cyclists behind the stands. The bridge’s ends are now fenced off and inaccessible.

During the Olympics, this site will host road cycling and triathlon events, and during the Paralympics, it will host para-triathlon events.

Building Olympic venues at some of the most iconic locations in a world-famous cultural capital is already an incredible plan. With most of the construction nearing completion, the Paris Olympics are ready to showcase the final results to the world.

When BMX riders soar in front of the Obelisk, when beach volleyball players dive for the ball under the Eiffel Tower, and when cyclists race along the banks of the Seine, the scenes will be truly exhilarating.