Is Paris Ready for This Summer’s Olympics?

The logistical issues could be overwhelming

Paris Olympic Village
France's President Emmanuel Macron, surrounded by officials, visits the Paris 2024 Olympic village in Saint-Denis, northern Paris, on February 29, 2024.

Don’t look now, but the Paris Olympics are getting closer and closer. This year’s Summer Games are set to begin on July 26, and — as is the case with many large-scale sporting events — there have been some controversies along the way. (The fate of the city’s riverside booksellers serving as one high-profile example.) And it’s enough to leave some observers wondering just how the city will navigate the event itself — with some evidence that that this summer’s Olympics could face serious logistical challenges.

That, at least, is the big takeaway from Alexandra Marshall’s analysis at Air Mail of a series of issues that the city faces in the lead-up to the Summer Games. Marshall points to several issues related to public transportation, from infrastructure that may not be ready to the potential of an outright transit strike.

As Marshall points out, these reports are having something of a trickle-down effect, with representatives of Paris’s tourism industry concerned that they could reduce the number of people traveling to the City of Lights for the Olympics.

It’s also led to some residents of Paris to be frustrated by the disruptions to their everyday lives. “Permanent road works, shit everywhere, and obviously the hassle during the Games themselves,” one resident of the city told Air Mail.

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There are other issues afoot here as well. Marshall writes that Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has taken the brunt of criticism for many Olympics-related issues, though some of those issues (such as transportation) are out of her jurisdiction. Hidalgo’s longstanding rivalry with Emmanuel Macron further complicates the matter. It’s a head-spinning combination of international, national and local politics — which is to say, a uniquely Olympian challenge.

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