Paris Olympics: Echoes of Covid concerns resurface amidst preparations

Paris Olympics: Echoes of Covid concerns resurface amidst preparations

The masses below were disappointed when the Eiffel Tower, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, closed due to a strike by employees who were unhappy with the financial management of the landmark located in Paris. The strike occurs as Paris gets ready to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, which are scheduled to start on July 26 and include medals for the victors made of metal from the tower. A massive screen advertising the strike was in front of visitors who were standing outside the tower grounds’ boundaries. Julie, 24, a support worker for refugees, was perplexed to see government signs at Métro stations recently recommending Parisians to work from home during the summer Olympic Games in order to avoid overloaded public transportation.

Anticipation and ambitions

Politicians, athletes, and President Emmanuel Macron are rallying the public behind what is being hailed as a “revolutionary” and drastically different kind of games – with half the typical carbon footprint and very little building, to avoid unnecessary infrastructure investment – as Paris gets ready for the Olympics and Paralympics. Of the approximately 8 million tickets that have been sold so far, more than 3 million have been purchased by French citizens, including 1.7 million by those in the Paris region. 

However, some residents of the French capital prefer to either rent their flats at exorbitant prices or leave the city to avoid the chaos. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo recently pleaded with the city’s citizens, saying, “Don’t leave this summer.” Stay put; leaving would be foolish. It’s going to be really amazing. “The moaning has to stop,” declared French tennis player and captain Yannick Noah of the French men’s Paralympic tennis squad. It will be a global gathering. I believe that many individuals are unaware of how stunning it will be.

Impact on public health

Macron referred to the Olympics as the “pride of the nation” after receiving 300,000 applications for the 45,000 volunteer positions. With amateur competitors from the general public being permitted to run the Olympic marathon route at night for the first time, Paris positions itself as an Olympics “for the people.” The two major development projects, the completed Olympic aquatics center and the Olympic village, aim to improve Seine-Saint-Denis, a low-income neighborhood north of the city. 

But obstacles still exist with just a few months to go. It’s still a difficult undertaking to organize the massive opening ceremony on the Seine, where 10,000 competitors on around 100 boats will float down 4 miles (6 km) of water in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators. This is the first time the opening ceremony of an Olympics has taken place anywhere other than the major athletics stadium. Over 45,000 police officers will be present, and airspace will be restricted. This week, Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, testified before the Senate that the Games’ security posed the “biggest logistic and security challenge” his office had ever seen. In the lead-up, one million anti-terrorism screenings and investigations will take place.

Resurgence of trepidation

Another important topic is whether the Seine will be clean enough to swim in during the open-water swimming competitions and triathlon. Since the turn of the century, swimming in the Seine has been prohibited due to hazardous pollution levels. However, in a mad dash to clean up, work has been done on filtration stations and water management in the hopes of clearing the river for the Olympics and beyond. 

Macron has committed to taking a dip in it. In June, important bacterial tests will be conducted with the primary goal of preventing excessive garbage from washing into the river during rainy seasons. Open-water swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha, a Brazilian Olympian, told AFP this week that if the water wasn’t clean enough, there had to be a backup plan in place, like moving the swimming competitions somewhere else. It’s not about removing the history of the Seine, she declared. Although we are aware of the symbolic meaning of the Alexandre III Bridge and the Eiffel Tower, athletes’ health must come first.

Call for Action: Boycott Paris Olympics 2024

The upcoming Paris Olympics in 2024 face significant challenges and criticisms amidst preparations. Concerns range from labor strikes at iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower to potential pollution hazards in the Seine for open-water competitions. Moreover, issues of racism, terrorism threats, and privacy violations cast shadows over the event. With escalating hotel prices and lingering safety doubts, calls for boycotting the Olympics gain traction, urging a reevaluation of France’s readiness and commitment to addressing these pressing issues.


In conclusion, Hotels are becoming quite expensive. One hotel in the 15th arrondissement, which cost €90 (£77) last summer, will cost €1,363 during the Olympics, according to research by Le Parisien. The initial spike in advertised hotel room rates, which were often almost three times more than average, has started to decline and level off.



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