Credit: Ugo Gattoni

Wales’ legends on the world stage

In the heart of Europe, the City of Light is preparing to host the world’s most prestigious sporting event. The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to be a monumental celebration of athletic prowess, cultural unity, and innovative spirit. As Paris opens its doors to athletes and spectators from across the globe, the city is not only promising a display of extraordinary talent and competition but also an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting legacy. From historic landmarks transformed into sporting venues to inclusivity and sustainability efforts across the board, Paris 2024 is poised to make history in more ways than one. This remarkable event will unite billions in the shared joy of the Olympic spirit, elevating Paris to the centre of the world stage. Here’s all you need to know:

Olympic Games Paris 2024

The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games promise to be the grandest event France has ever hosted. From 26 July 26 to 11 August 2024, Paris will transform into a global epicentre not just of sport, but of cultural celebration.

The figures surrounding the event are staggering. Billions of television viewers worldwide will tune in to watch 350,000 hours of TV broadcast, with millions of spectators filling 35 venues across the city. Paris’ unique charm will be on full display as iconic landmarks are converted into sporting arenas, providing an unparalleled experience for spectators and a stunning backdrop for athletes. Over 10,500 athletes will compete, supported by 20,000 accredited journalists and 45,000 volunteers, with more than 600,000 meals served daily at the Athletes’ Village. Over 19 days of competition (with handball, football, and rugby starting from 24 July), 329 events will take place, featuring athletes from over 200 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team. The Games will encompass 32 sports (including four additional sports) across 754 sessions, including competitions and ceremonies.

Embracing the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020, Paris 2024 introduces four additional sports that resonate with the youth while also embodying creativity and athletic performance: breaking (for the first time at the Olympics), sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing. These sports are not only easy to join but also foster vibrant social media communities. Paris 2024 aims to embed the values of sport into everyday life, showcasing that excellence and sustainability can go hand in hand.

Paralympics

The 2024 Summer Paralympics will be held in Paris from 28 August to 8 September 2024. This will be the first time Paris hosts the Paralympics, and the second time for France, following the 1992 Winter Paralympics in Tignes and Albertville. The event will feature 22 sports and 549 events, including a record 235 medal events for women (eight more than in 2020). The projection for the overall event foresees a doubling of female participants compared to the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

The Paris 2024 team is dedicated to making the Games a catalyst for a more inclusive society. Following eleven days of intense competition, perceptions of disability are set to evolve. The Opening Ceremony, held in the heart of Paris at Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées, will spotlight Paralympic athletes in a spectacular three-hour event. Artistic director Thomas Jolly aims to create a ceremony that is both impactful and transformative, reconnecting the public with the Paralympic spirit.

Competitions will take place in legendary locations such as the foot of the Eiffel Tower and the gardens of the Château de Versailles, bringing the celebration of sports and athletes closer to the public. For the first time, the Olympics and Paralympics will also share a common emblem. According to Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet, this decision underscores a unified ambition to embed sports into the daily lives of people, sending a message that ‘whatever the age, whatever the disability or not, you have a place and a role to play in the success of Paris 2024’.

Olympic Broadcasting Services will provide live telecasts for all 22 Paralympic sports for the first time. France Télévisions will air the events on its main channels, while Channel 4 in the UK will continue its comprehensive coverage. 

The anticipation for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games continues to build, promising a celebration of diversity, athletic excellence, and a lasting legacy for Paris and beyond.
For full details of all Olympics and Paralympics events, visit olympics.com/en/paris-2024

Welsh sports stars

Boxing: Rosie Eccles     

Credit: Team Wales

Since falling in love with boxing during a boxercise class at age 16, Rosie has boxed for Chepstow ABC and Pontypool ABC, before joining the full-time boxing program at Cardiff Met. Currently, she’s training at Sport Wales and with Team GB, and has achieved a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sailing: Michael Beckett

Credit: Team GB

The lifelong sailing enthusiast and ICLA 7 star first got his sea legs on his father’s handmade vessel, before joining his first race at age nine. He completed his Engineering in Ship Science degree at Southampton University while being part of the British Sailing Team. He holds a National Youth title, silver at the 2018 Laser World Championships, European championship in 2021, and the winning spots of the last two Trofeo Princesa Sofia regattas.

Table Tennis: Anna Hursey  

Credit: Team Wales

Making her senior international debut for Wales at age 10, Anna then became the youngest athlete in Commonwealth Games history at age 11, winning a Pride of Sport Award in 2018. In 2021, she achieved her highest ranking as number two in the world and number one in Europe in the under-15 category.

Rowing: Ollie Wyn Griffith

Credit: British Rowing

The Olympic bronze medalist in the Men’s Eight at the Tokyo 2020 Games, joined the GB Rowing Team in 2017 after injuries shifted his focus from rugby to rowing. A Yale politics major and Cambridge MBA graduate, Ollie mentors young athletes while he continues to excel and inspire in sports.

Swimming:

Medi Harris

Credit: Team Wales

Medi won 100m backstroke bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at 19, followed by a quartet of medals at the European Championships, including a 100m backstroke silver and 4x100m freestyle relay gold. She continued her success by securing 200m backstroke gold at the 2023 European Short Course Championships and adding silver and bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay and mixed 4x100m medley relay, respectively.

Matt Richards

Credit: Team Wales

Matt made a splash by securing Team GB’s first victory in the men’s 4x200m relay since 1908 with an Olympic gold win in Tokyo at 18. Training under coach Ryan Livingstone at Millfield School, he became world champion in the 200m freestyle in Fukuoka and plans to marry fellow GB swimmer Emily Large just days after the end of Paris 2024.

Hector Pardoe

Credit: Aquatics GB

The 23-year-old marathon swimmer will compete in his second Olympic Games with Team GB in Paris 2024, following his debut at Tokyo 2020. Pardoe, who began competitive swimming at age eight and transitioned to open water at 14, won bronze at the 2016 World Junior Championships. He currently trains under Philippe Lucas in Montpellier.

Dan Jervis

Credit: Team Wales

Inspired by Rebecca Adlington’s 2008 Olympic victories, the long-distance freestyle specialist placed fifth in the 1500m on his Olympic debut in Tokyo, then went on to win the 1500m at the AquaticsGB Swimming Championships for the sixth time – a feat which secured him his spot at Paris 2024. Jervis, who came out as gay in 2022, has also been very active in LGBTQ+ issues.

Kieran Bird

Credit: Team Wales

Kieran’s Olympic journey began in 2012, spurred on by witnessing Chad Le Clos’s victory over Michael Phelps in London. He qualified for Team GB in Tokyo by winning the 400m freestyle at the British Swimming Selection Trials, and only a few months ago achieved both several personal bests and gold at the British National Championships.

Author WCS

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