Paris and its history as host of the Olympic Games

Paris and its history as host of the Olympic Games
Paris and its history as host of the Olympic Games

Paris is hosting the Olympic Games for the third time. Discover the stories that connect this city to the world’s largest sporting event.

The next Friday, July 26 They start the Paris 2024 Olympic Gamesthe most exciting sporting event of the year. These games promise to be the first games with a positive carbon footprint, complete gender equality and with competitions open to the public.

The History of Paris and the Olympic Games is one that combines excellence with the impetus to rewrite the rules for the sake of sport and humanity. Find out why the Games of the 33rd Olympiad and the City of Light have so much history to tell.

Paris is the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games

Although Olympic Games were celebrated in ancient Greece, It is in the French capital that this tradition is revived for the modern era.Pierre de Coubertin organized the first Olympic Congress in 1894, which was held at the Sorbonne in Paris.

On that occasion, 58 French delegates from 24 national sports organisations and 20 delegates from Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the United States representing 13 foreign sports federations met.

At the end of the congress, the resolution to revive the Olympic Games by unanimous vote. The first edition was held in 1896 in Athens, as a tribute to the origin of this competition. The next host city was Pariswhere the modern Olympic movement began.

Due to a mix-up, the Olympic Games were not promoted as such, and many of the participating athletes did not even know that they were actually Olympians. This poster shows the fencing tournament where women participated for the first time. Poster: IOC

The 1924 Paris Olympics: A new era

After this first edition as host, Paris welcomed more than 3 thousand athletes from 44 countries to participate in the largest sporting event in the world. Honoring Hellenic traditions, prior to the sporting tournaments there were artistic competitions in literature, architecture, painting, sculpture and music.

This edition was one with many new features, including:

  • The Olympic emblem was used for the first time Faster Higher Stronger (“Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”).
  • They were broadcast on radio, marking the first international multi-sport event to be broadcast in real time.
  • The athletes stayed in an Olympic village, a tradition that would be resumed in subsequent editions.
  • A closing ceremony is held where the flags of the International Olympic Committee, the current host country and the next one are raised.
Poster for the Paris 1924 Olympic Games, 100 years later the City of Light is illuminated by the Olympic flame. Poster: IOC.

Paris 2024 promises to break paradigms

Once again, the International Olympic Committee aims to evolve the Olympic experience through initiatives focused on accessibility and sustainability. The opening ceremony will be the first to take place outside a stadium, running along six kilometres of the River Seine and ending at the Trocadéro. During the introduction and ceremony, athletes will share the stage with artists, putting them at the heart of this celebration.

This will be the first Opening Ceremony to be held outside a stadium. Photo: IOC.

The Olympic Village, invented 100 years ago, is also being renovated as a sustainable project. After hosting more than 20,000 athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the village will be transformed into a neighborhood with:

  • 2500 new homes
  • A student residence
  • A hotel
  • A three-hectare park with a garden
  • 120 thousand m² of offices and services
  • 3200 m² of commercial spaces

The Paris 2024 organizing committee is committed to ensuring that this space will contribute to the city’s adaptation to the climate and promote the region’s biodiversity through ecological material choices and environmentally friendly designs.

Gender parity is also a priority for these games. In 1900, Paris welcomed the first female Olympic athletes and significant progress has been made since then towards achieving equality. London 2012 was the first edition where all participating countries sent women in their delegation and in Tokyo 2020 female participation reached 47.8%, a record figure to date.

To achieve a complete balance of female and male athletes, the competition will feature 152 medal events for women and 157 for men, with 20 events for both genders. The IOC hopes to receive 5000 athletes from all over the worlda stark contrast to the 22 women who participated in the 1900 Olympics.

Our hopes are on extraordinary women like Nuria Diosdado, Alexa Moreno and Paola Morán to bring home a gold medal. Meanwhile, we will watch as the City of Light lights up more than ever with a mix of sport and fraternity.

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