Opening ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games: date, time and how to watch

An illustration of what the ambitious opening ceremony river parade will look like – AFP/Florian Hulleu

The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, are just a matter of months away. The Games will be the first to be held in Europe since London hosted them in 2012.

The opening ceremony marks the official start of the Games, although the sporting action actually starts two days earlier on Wednesday. Paris is an hour ahead of Britain.

A total of 10,500 athletes are expected, representing 206 countries, and approximately 120 heads of state, sovereigns and governments.

Concerns over security threats and crowd control at the event have led to the original grand plans being scaled back, with President Emmanuel Macron stating that France had prepared alternative plans if the ceremony needed to be further changed.

View the full schedule of Paris 2024 here.

When is the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Paris?

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games will take place on Friday, July 26, 2024. This marks the start of the multi-sport event, which will run until the closing ceremony on Sunday, August 11, 2024.

What time does the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games start?

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is expected to start at 8:24pm (8:24pm – get it?) in Paris, so 7:24pm GMT.

Where can I watch it live?

Eurosport is the main European rights holder to broadcast this year’s Olympics, although the BBC will still cover the big moments on its channels and traditionally the opening ceremony will be shown live on BBC One. You need a subscription for Eurosport and Discovery+.

Telegraph Sports will also be live blogging both the opening and closing ceremonies, so be sure to bookmark this page.

Paris organizers expect a total of one billion television and online viewers for the ceremony, which will be broadcast around the world.

300,000 spectators are expected along the route.

Where will the opening ceremony take place?

For the first time, the opening ceremony will take place outside a closed stadium, with an open-air parade of 160 boats – including 94 athletes on board – sailing six kilometers along the River Seine in the heart of Paris. The parade ends in front of the Trocadero, where the remaining elements of the Olympic protocol and the final shows will take place.

During the parade, performers will join the delegations and passengers on the boats during the ceremony.

A number of boats will transport athletes, dignitaries and artists across the River SeineA number of boats will transport athletes, dignitaries and artists across the River Seine

A number of boats will transport athletes, dignitaries and artists across the River Seine – AFP/Florian Hulleu

What is the route of the parade?

The river parade travels from east to west over a distance of 6 km. The route departs from the Austerlitz Bridge, next to the Jardin des Plantes, travels around the two islands of Île Saint Louis and the Île de la Cité, then passes under a total of eight to ten bridges and gateways to its terminus for the Trocadéro.

Latest news

French President Emmanuel Macron has said for the first time that the Seine River opening ceremony could be moved back to a closed stadium if security threats deem the open-air parade to be too much of a risk.

Macron was confident his country could achieve “a world first” with the ceremony, but added that “there are Plan Bs and Plan Cs”, including moving business to the Stade de France, where rugby sevens and athletics will be held during the Games, or where the ceremony was limited to the Trocadero building across the river from the Eiffel Tower.

With the Olympics taking place amid war in Ukraine and Gaza, the ceremony leaves teams potentially vulnerable to attack, with French authorities citing the possibility of a drone attack, for example.

How to buy tickets

A total of 326,000 tickets will be sold or distributed for the opening ceremony. A limited number of tickets for the 2024 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (category A and hospitality packages) are still available via the official Paris 2024 ticketing website.

Who will carry the torch at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games?

According to a centuries-old tradition, the Olympic torch was lit by the sun’s rays on April 16 in Olympia, Greece. After an 11-day relay through Greece, a 68-day French torch relay, using 10,000 chosen torchbearers representing all ages and genders, will travel across France, culminating in the last torchbearer lighting the cauldron with the torch to celebrate the Olympic Games officially open. . That person’s name is normally kept secret until the final reveal.

Will Russian and Belarusian athletes be present at the opening ceremony?

The International Olympic Committee has said Russian and Belarusian athletes will not take part in the Paris opening ceremony. Athletes from both countries are banned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, but individuals can compete as neutral athletes in Paris.

The IOC said they would not be part of the opening ceremony “because they are individual athletes, but they will have the opportunity to experience the event.”

Who will perform at the opening ceremony?

Various performers will be involved in all phases of the event, including on the individual boats for the parade. Specific stage names have yet to be announced, but one name linked to playing a role is Aya Nakamura, the French-Malian singer. A racist backlash followed amid reports that she was considering performing an Edith Piaf song.

Well-known director Thomas Jolly has been appointed artistic director of the various ceremonies in Paris 2024.

Which GB athletes will be at the opening ceremony?

Depending on the sports programme, a large delegation from Great Britain is traditionally present at the opening ceremony. Specific participating athletes will not be announced in advance, but the delegates will be known.

Who will be the GB flag bearers?

Team GB flag bearers will be announced in the days leading up to the Olympic Games. Starting with the 2024 Tokyo Games, the International Olympic Committee has encouraged teams to choose a male and a female flag bearer. For Team GB they were sailor Hannah Mills and rower Moe Sbihi. Other notable flag bearers of the Summer Games Opening Ceremony for Great Britain in the past include Andy Murray, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Steve Redgrave.

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