Preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are being stepped up with less than 500 days to go before the main sporting action begins. The Organising Committee is launching its testing programme this summer at several of its venues due to host next year’s Olympic and Paralympic competitions.
Testing programme to be ready when the Games begin
While not intended to be an exact replica of the Games competitions, the tests are designed to ensure that Paris 2024 and all stakeholders involved in organising the Games are ready by summer 2024, when the eyes of the world will be fixed on France. They will enable the organisers to identify and carry out any modifications that may be necessary to make sure the Games run as smoothly as possible.
The testing programme will be held over the 12 months leading up to the Games, culminating with an athletics and Para athletics test event at the Stade de France in June 2024. The first Paris 2024 test event will take place from 9 to 16 July this year in Marseille, when the city’s marina will host a major international sailing competition.
The Paris 2024 testing programme has been carefully put together in accordance with the specific requirements of each sport and the different Olympic and Paralympic competition venues, in close cooperation with the relevant International Federations. Venues with a strong hosting record will therefore only be tested from an operational point of view. For example, for the Roland-Garros Stadium, whose expertise in organising international tennis competitions is universally acknowledged, will be tested just for its transition from tennis to boxing on the Philippe-Chatrier court.
The testing programme has also been planned in a responsible way. For example, where a major event on the 2023/24 international sporting calendar is being held at a Games competition venue this has been incorporated into the testing programme. This will enable Paris 2024 to carry out various tests without holding additional events at these venues. The World Rowing Junior Championships, for example, will be organised by the French Rowing Federation at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium from 2 to 6 August 2023. Paris 2024 will test its venue operations, especially the timekeeping and scoreboard systems, during this event.
Paris 2024 stakeholders will be involved in the testing programme so they can prepare for situations similar to those that they will experience during the Games. In August 2023, Paris city centre will simultaneously host a stage of the Archery World Cup on 19 and 20 August and an international triathlon and para triathlon competition, offering a brief but intense taste of what will occur at the same location a year later. These tests will cover the floating triathlon pontoon and other complex structures, the cycling and running courses for the triathlon and para triathlon events and, finally, traffic and crowd management in and around the venues.
Three types of tests
In order to meet the needs identified by Paris 2024, three types of tests have been defined:
- Olympic Games Test events organised by Paris 2024 are international-standard competitions created in order to meet a specific need for knowledge linked to certain sports or venues. The sailing test event at the Marseille Marina will bring together the world’s best sailors, who will compete in all the events in the Games programme, enabling Paris 2024 to test the sporting, medical and technological systems at the competition venue. Paris 2024 will also organise three other events in the run-up to the Olympic Games: an international triathlon and para triathlon competition from 17 to 20 August 2023 that will follow the same course on the Seine and the streets of Paris that will be used at the Games, an international mountain bike competition in Elancourt on 24 September 2023 and an international hockey competition at the Yves du Manoir Stadium from 3 to 5 May 2024 (to be confirmed).
- Events organised by National or International Sports Federations or other third parties will enable Paris 2024 to test certain operations at events organised by other entities. The result of close collaboration with the National and International Federations concerned will also enable the public to discover the Games venues as they play host to international competitions. From 5 to 8 October 2023, for example, the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium will stage the finals of the Canoe Slalom World Cup, giving Paris 2024 the chance to test the sporting and technical operations of the course, as well as the new event on the Paris 2024 programme, Extreme Canoe Slalom.
- Finally, operational tests are ‘targeted’ tests organised by Paris 2024 and include specific tests held behind closed doors or with a small number of invited athletes. They are designed to make sure a particular venue is functioning correctly or to test the transition between different sports at the same venue. This type of test will be conducted at several venues, such as the Grand Palais (covering the glass roof to test the impact on the competition area and testing the transition between fencing and taekwondo) and the Bercy Arena (testing the transition between gymnastics and basketball).
Key dates of the Paris 2024 testing programme in 2023
Olympic Games Test Events – organised by Paris 2024
- 9–16 July 2023: Olympic Games Test Event, Marseille Marina
- 17–20 August 2023: Olympic Games Test Event: World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series and World Triathlon Para Cup, Pont Alexandre III, Paris
- 24 September 2023: Olympic Games Test Event: international mountain bike competition, Elancourt Hill
Events organised by third parties in which Paris 2024 will test various operations
- 26–27 July 2023: French Youth Championships, Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
- 2–6 August 2023: World Rowing Junior Championships, Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium
- 5–6 August 2023: World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup 2023 –
- 11–20 August 2023: WSL Tahiti Pro, Teahupo’o, Tahiti
- 19–20 August 2023: Archery World Cup Paris 2023, 4th stage, Invalides, Paris
- 30 August – 1 September 2023: ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Cup, Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium
- 5–8 October 2023: ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup Final, Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium
- July 2023: Roland-Garros Stadium, Paris (transition from tennis to boxing)
- August 2023: South Paris Arena 4 and 6, Paris (table tennis, Para table tennis, handball, weightlifting)
- August 2023: Grand Palais, Paris (fencing, taekwondo and Para taekwondo)
- August 2023: La Concorde, Paris (venue)
- August 2023: Château de Versailles (equestrian, familiarisation with the cross-country course)
- August – September 2023: Champ-de-Mars Arena, Paris (wheelchair rugby, judo, Para judo, wrestling)
- September 2023: Bercy Arena, Paris (transition from artistic gymnastics to basketball and wheelchair basketball)
Key dates of the Paris 2024 testing programme in 2024 (dates to be confirmed)
Olympic Games Test Events – organised by Paris 2024
- 4–5 May 2024: Yves du Manoir Stadium, Colombes (Hockey)
Events organised by third parties in which Paris 2024 will test certain operations
- 8–14 April 2024: National Archery Centre, Châteauroux (archery and Para archery)
- 29 April – 8 May 2024: Olympic Aquatics Centre (artistic swimming, diving, water-polo)
- January- February 2024: Boccia (details and venue to be confirmed)
- March 2024: Port de La Chapelle Arena, Paris (rhythmic gymnastics, Para Powerlifting)
- April 2024: Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines National Velodrome (BMX racing)
- May 2024: Château de Versailles (modern pentathlon)
- June 2024: Le Bourget (climbing), Paris La Défense Arena (swimming, water-polo), Stade de France (athletics, Para athletics)
Credit : Paris 2024