2024 Paris Olympics: For Better or Worse for Paris?


Abrianna Ohliger with the 2024 Olympic countdown w/ the Eiffel Tower in the background

Knowing that Paris would host the Olympics a little over a month after our visit exhilarated me. Who can claim to have visited Paris in an Olympic year? Not many; Paris last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1924. This took place during the period between the two world wars. The city had only hosted the Olympics six years after WWI ended, marking it the second Summer Olympics post-war. As I arrived in Paris, my curiosity peaked on how such a vast city would manage to prepare for a global event. The city beautifully merges my interests in history and the sports industry.

Undoubtedly, the Olympics will take over the city in Ju. Mlyoving between monuments, one cannot help but notice signs of the imminent games. The city buzzes with construction crews, and the erection of spectator stands and athletic arenas is a continuous sight. Throughout its history, Paris has expanded significantly. Around 2 million people call Paris home, roughly 1/3 of London’s population, our last visit. Yet, Paris’s circular layout, typical of ancient cities, gives it a more compact yet expansive feel than London. This density includes the perennial influx of tourists, Olympic year or not.

Paris Metro Stops with Pink Pyramids signifying Olympic points of interest.

While witnessing a city prepare for the Olympics was fascinating, the experience overall detracted from the city’s charm. The relentless construction and sporadic structures disrupted the city’s natural and architectural harmony. The city felt more congested than during non-Olympic times. Consequently, tourists visiting before, during, and after the Olympics miss out on an authentic Parisian experience. However, the Olympics bring certain benefits, such as the city’s immaculate maintenance and the monuments’ added luster, in anticipation of showcasing Paris on the global stage. I am eager to see which infrastructures will remain post-2024 Summer Olympics and how these will blend into the already dense cityscape.

Eiffel Tower, with its base blocked off from the public. In the background, Olympic structures can be seen.

Building with signage for the 2024 Olympics

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