As security concerns mount for Olympics, France outlines alternatives for opening ceremonies –

As security concerns mount for Olympics, France outlines alternatives for opening ceremonies –

1 of 3 | In 2017, Olympic rings were unveiled on the Trocadero Square opposite the Eiffel Tower (pictured) to celebrate Paris officially being awarded the 2024 Olympic Games. The site is one of the alternatives being considered for the event’s opening ceremonies this summer. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

April 15 (UPI) — The French government said Monday that the July 26 Olympics opening ceremonies will have alternative plans if needed amid growing safety concerns.

In an interview on Monday, President Emmanuel Macron stated his confidence that the ceremonies will not only proceed as planned but be successful. He added that a Plan B and Plan C are on the table should anything go awry.

“This opening ceremony … is a world first. We can do it and we are going to do it,” Macron said Monday morning to French news media sites RMC Radio and BFM-TV.

Other alternatives include holding the opening ceremony in Trocadero Square, which faces the Eiffel Tower and where the Seine River route will culminate.

And the other would be to go just north of Paris to the Stade de France, where track and field events will play out.

“We are preparing them in parallel,” said Macron about the possible back-up plans, adding that “we will analyze this in real time.”

In early March, the French government laid out plans to scale back the Paris Summer Olympics opening ceremonies amid growing security concerns

The nautical Olympics opening parade through Paris will include 160 boats — one for each country participating — which will carry 206 delegations and 10,500 athletes.

It will be the first time an Olympics opening ceremony will take place in a public space, instead of inside an enclosed stadium.

The original 600,000 spectators expected along the 3.7-mile stretch from east of Paris to the Trocadéro will be capped at 325,000 on July 26 the day of opening ceremonies and will run until Aug. 11.

Slashing the crowd size came at Macron’s request, according to a top official with French intelligence services who said there are concerns about security and “the main threat is Islamist terrorism.”

During the same interview Monday, Macron added the he would do “everything possible” to secure safety amid concerns in Ukraine and Gaza. He said he also spoke with China’s President Xi Jinping

“We want to work towards an Olympic truce and I think it is an occasion for me to engage with a lot of our partners,” Macron said.

He told reporters earlier in the month that he believed Russia would try to target the Olympic games in some way. There are 46 countries aiding 18,000 French military personnel in the significant security effort.

From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8 will be the Paralympic Games.

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