Thousands waved flags and cheered in front of Paris’ Eiffel Tower on Sunday (August 8) to mark the coming of the 2024 Olympic Games to Paris.
Tokyo doused its Olympic flame in a ceremony on Sunday that echoed the restraint of a Games that played out without spectators and were defined and transformed by the global pandemic, dazzling sport and deeply person turmoil.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo took over the Tokyo’s Olympic duties in the closing ceremony, which was broadcast live in the French capital’s fan zone.
In Paris, pop music blared out as Tokyo medallists Teddy Riner and Clarisse Agbegnenou bounced on stage. Plans to fly a giant Olympic flag from the Eiffel Tower were abandoned because of strong winds.
France promises a 2024 Summer Olympics “for the people” after the pandemic-hit Tokyo event. In a sign that those days are far from close, though, public entry to the fan zone was permitted only upon presentation of a vaccine certificate or negative COVID-19 test.
French Olympic athletes, who paraded on stage during Sunday’s celebration, said they were excited to take part in the games at home.
“What changes (in 2024) is that we’ll have our families around. We didn’t have them around in Tokyo, and we’ll all have them in Paris, in addition to a warm public,” Agbegnenou said.