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France has contingencies in case of security risks at Olympic ceremony

France expects to hold the games' opening ceremony in an unusual open-air setting on the River Seine, which may bring unique security problems.
France has contingencies in case of security risks at Olympic ceremony
Posted at 8:53 PM, Apr 15, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that France is ready to keep its opening ceremony for the 2024 Olympics safe — even if that means moving to an alternate stadium location.

France expects to hold the games' opening ceremony on July 26 in an unusual open-air setting on the River Seine, involving a parade of more than 10,000 athletes riding on boats stretching for miles.

Security will be exceptionally tight around the event, Macron told reporters. He did not identify any known threat, but characterized the possibility of taking the ceremony to a stadium instead as a "fallback scenario" in case of trouble. 

"There are plan Bs and plan Cs," Macron said.

Other options include shortening the waterborne parade route.

The ceremony was originally intended to entertain as many as 600,000 spectators, but the French government has repeatedly pared down its plans, first by reducing the expected audience and then by limiting admission from free to all members of the public to invitation-only.

France currently stands at its highest level of public security.

Macron said physical barriers, traffic management and other security preparations will become more apparent in the weeks leading up to the unique opening ceremony. 

"It’s a world first," Macron said. "We can do it and we will do it."

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