- Title: Paris is ready, mayor says as Olympic flag lands in France for 2024 Games
- Date: 9th August 2021
- Summary: HIDALGO AND ESTANGUET POSING WITH OLYMPIC FLAG
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2021 14:59
- Keywords: France Olympics Paris 2024 Tokyo airport athletes flag return
- Location: ROISSY-EN-FRANCE, FRANCE
- City: ROISSY-EN-FRANCE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Europe,Olympics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA005EPK60JR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: France rolled out the red carpet for the Olympic flag on Monday (August 9), with the host of the next 2024 summer Games promising to make the sporting spectacle open to the masses after a pandemic-hit Tokyo Games held behind closed doors.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo waved the flag that she had been handed in Tokyo during the handover ceremony as she stepped out of the aircraft bringing home some of the country's gold medallists.
The 2024 Games would be "something very positive for our country. They come at a good moment," Hidalgo told reporters.
Paris, she said, had learned many lessons from the experience of Tokyo, commending the city for its determination to proceed with the event.
Delayed by a year and upended by strict COVID-19 countermeasures as contagious variants surged back around the world, the 2020 Games fell short of the triumph and financial windfall Japan had wanted.
Bringing the Games closer to the people will pose security challenges in a country that has suffered waves of attacks at the hands of Islamist militants or jihadist-inspired assailants in recent years. More than 250 people have been killed.
In a nod to breaking with an old made-for-TV format, organisers of the Paris 2024 Games have for the past year been working on taking the opening ceremony out of the Olympic stadium and into the heart of Paris.
For the first time ever, amateur runners will participate in the marathon, road-biking enthusiasts will cycle the course soon after the Olympiads and sailing enthusiasts may be able to do battle in real-time with their sporting heroes.
(Production: Manuel Ausloos, Ardee Napolitano)
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