“We are working on a ceremony on the Seine, not elsewhere,” he assured to dispel doubts about an alternative venue. He only referred to what he called adaptation measures in cases of cybersecurity or adverse weather conditions.
The versions about a possible plan B became relevant after it was known that a capacity of 400,000 people is expected and the capacity to manage an efficient security system was questioned.
According to estimates, 17 thousand guards would be needed to cover the event, which Estanguet described as a challenge. However, he assured that “70% of private security” is guaranteed for now.
“Security is the basis for the success of the Games,” Estanguet acknowledged before upholding the decision to hold an opening ceremony outside a stadium for the first time.
Estanguet also assured that there is no tension with the construction deadlines of the facilities, which are “on schedule”, in his words.
He said that more than 180,000 volunteers will work for the Games, and that the Olympic torch relay in France will be collective and will be the responsibility of the 31 sports federations. They will last three months from its arrival in the port of Marseilles from Athens.
Another of the controversies linked to the river that crosses the French capital concerns the quality of its waters for hosting triathlon competitions.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, assured that she will bathe in its waters in July, in an attempt to dispel doubts on the matter.
Hidalgo stressed that “the sanitation work to make the river’s waters suitable for bathing is going in the right direction and could be completed before the start of the Games”.
He also pointed out that natural swimming pools in which Parisians will be able to bathe will be inaugurated as of 2025, almost 100 years after this activity was banned because of the poor quality of the water.
In this way, he tried to alleviate the uncertainties generated by the pollution of the river’s waters. He added that “the lives of Parisians will change even faster,” he said before insisting that the Games will be environmentally friendly, with 55% fewer emissions than those of London 2012.