Paris 2024: How Paris Won the Bid and Current Controversies

As Team USA starts to fill its rosters as the Olympic Games draw closer. Paris is in its final stages of finalizing arenas in and around the city. Let’s take a look back at how Paris won the bid to host the games and what controversies they still need to overcome. 

Winning the Bid

Paris wanted to host the games in 2024 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their last host. After having lost the bid in 1995 and 2005, Paris was eager to get another chance. Unfortunately, they had to compete against a number of other cities, most notably Los Angeles. 

Both metropolitan areas have previously hosted and have a number of arenas already pre-built in the city. What barred Paris in the past from winning was a lack of clear messaging and concerns over safety.  

Photo taken after Paris won the games. Credit Philippe Millereau – Paris Olympics Media
Photo Credit Philippe Millereau – Paris Olympics Media

Paris changed its tactics and made an emphasis on redeveloping the city and going green. Becoming more eco-friendly was shown to be more cost-effective, which was a must as the high cost of holding the Olympics made Rio 2016 a mess for the city. 

On the final day of the bidding, Paris negotiated and convinced Los Angeles to host the games in 2028. Since both cities are financially stable enough to host, the IOC board agreed and officially announced Paris as the host of the games on September 3, 2017. 

Current Controversies

In spite of winning the bid, things haven’t gone as smoothly as Paris had promised in their bid. The Paris Olympics have faced a number of controversies in the national media while also circling on social channels like TikTok and Instagram. 

The first came as the announced centerpiece of the games, the Seine River was under investigation for sanitation issues. 

Initially set to host all swimming events, and both marathon and sprints, professional tests found that the Seine has traces of fecal matter and other harmful bacteria. While Paris has been attempting to clean the river, efforts are slower than expected.

Both the mayor of Paris and the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, pledged to swim in the Seine before the events to prove it is safe. This didn’t stop Parisians from starting a call for a protest on social platforms. In classic Parisian style, protestors would defecate in the river on the day the politicians swim.

The river will still host the Opening Ceremony at the start of the games, but the official statement on the other events is still on hold. The mayor and president have yet to swim in the Seine. 

Another controversy comes as Paris’ bid included a focus on environmentally friendly accommodations. Unfortunately, this means that the Olympic Village, the housing for all the athletes, would go without air conditioning.

A number of countries, including the United States have already gone against Paris’ wishes and are bringing air conditioning units. These countries are concerned their athlete’s will underperform as they may get less sleep on hotter nights. 

Regardless of the controversies, the games still go on. The Opening Ceremony will be held on July 26, 2024. Follow the Daily Universe’s Sports page to find exclusive highlights of BYU athletes, summaries of the games, and more. 

Athletes ride a boat on the Seine before the Games. Credit Paris Olympics Media

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