Europe 1 with AFP 19:24 p.m., March 30, 2023

The prefect of the Ile-de-France region has unveiled part of the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to be held on July 26, 2024. 10,000 athletes are expected that day. At least 140 boats must transport athletes during a nautical parade on the Seine.

Between 140 and 170 boats will be engaged to transport 10,000 athletes during the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, an unprecedented nautical parade on the Seine, said Thursday the prefect of the region Marc Guillaume. "It is a huge challenge that will be to make 140 to 170 boats leave the east of Paris, on the edge of Ivry, and to make them arrive from the bridge of Austerlitz to the Trocadero", 6 km further west, said the representative of the State during a point before the regional council of Ile-de-France.

Between the desire to offer the world an extraordinary event and the imperative of security, the preparation of the parade proves to be a headache for the organizers. Like the number of spectators (from 400,000 to 600,000), the number of boats is also the subject of discussion. "When the Greek boat", first according to Olympic tradition, "arrives at the Trocadero, the French boat that will leave last will probably not have left yet," illustrated Marc Guillaume, stressing the "logistical challenge to ensure that the 10,000 athletes can, with the pontoons, get on all these boats in the east of Paris".

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Shortage of security guards

Regarding the need for private security agents for competition sites, estimated at 25,000 by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, the objective of the prefect is now "to have about 15,000 training and recruitments". By the end of February, only 3,000 of these agents had been hired and 1,800 were in training.

But "we will call by September the 56,000 job seekers who are in trades close to private security or who have been looking for work for more than two years," Guillaume said. With the regional council, the prefecture is looking for "other audiences, students, young people from priority neighborhoods". On the projects underway for the Games, those related to the depollution of the Seine will be "carried out", reaffirmed Marc Guillaume.

Depolluted "at 2% two and a half years ago", the river will reach this summer a depollution rate "of 60-65% which will allow the 'test events' to be held", the objective being "a rate of 75%" for the Olympics. The prefect was also reassuring about the extension projects of line 14 and RER E, which raise concerns. "The whole Maillot gate will be liberated" for the start of the Games, he said.