How the Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony Will Be Unlike Any Before

2024 paris olympics opening ceremony
A Guide to the Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony Florian Hulleu / Getty Images

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The 2024 Summer Olympics are quickly approaching, just an unusual three short years from the previous summer games in Tokyo, due to Covid-related delays. This year's opening ceremony is like nothing like we've witnessed before since the beginning of the modern Olympics games in 1896. So, of course you don't want to miss out on the festivities.

After all, the Olympics don't happen every year, and 2024 will mark the first games in Europe since the London games in 2012. Paris is hosting for the third time, making the City of Lights just one of a few sites to do so. They previously hosted in 1900 and, exactly 100 years ago, in 1924. Here's everything you should know about the Olympics 2024 opening ceremony ahead of the big event, including how to watch, what to expect, and who to look out for.

When is the Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2024?

The Paris Olympics Opening Ceremony, which officially kicks off the summer games, is on Friday, July 26, 2024. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. CET (for American viewers that's 10:30 a.m. PT or 1:30 p.m. ET).

Although the opening ceremony is the official start of the games, some events (including soccer, handball, rugby and archery) will begin two days prior to the ceremony on July 24.

Where is the 2024 Olympics Opening Ceremony

french flag with paris 2024 summer olympic games logo, eiffel tower in paris france panoramic background
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This year's Paris Olympics opening ceremony is like none other before. For the first time ever, the opening ceremony will not be held within a stadium. Instead, the proceedings will take place in the centre of Paris along the River Seine. Athletes and dignitaries will float down the river in a total of 160 boats.

The aquatic parade route will pass some of Paris's most iconic landmarks and sporting venues where some Olympics events will take place. The 3.7 mile (6 km) route will pass by Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Post de Arts, the Musée d'orsay and more. The parade route ends at Trocadéro, where athletes will leave their boats and continue the ceremony on land, with views of the Eiffel Tower.

"We are delighted to have an opening ceremony that illustrates the meeting between sport and the city in the most beautiful way. With the natural light of the setting sun, the event will be even more sublime, with a truly poetic dimension, inviting both athletes and the public to appreciate the natural beauty of the City of Light," said Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024.

paris olympic games 100 days to go
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French President Emmanuel Macron has acknowledged the potential security risk of hosting the ceremony outdoors in a public space, and revealed that he has a plan b and a plan c if a threat arises.

How to Watch the Paris Olympics 2024 Opening Ceremony

In the U.S.A, NBC has exclusive rights to Olympics coverage through 2032, so consider that you're go-t0 channel for the Olympics if you have cable.

The ceremony will broadcast live on NBC and stream simultaneously on Peacock, beginning at Noon ET. Alternately, you can stream the ceremony on the NBC Sports app, or with cable alternatives such as YouTubeTV and Hulu + LiveTV. If you miss the mid-day broadcast, NBC will be airing the Opening Ceremony coverage again the same day during their 7:30 p.m. primetime slot.

Viewers can also head to the movie theater as Opening Ceremony coverage will also play on over 150 IMAX screens throughout the U.S., another unique-to-2024 aspect of Olympics coverage.

“We look forward to providing our Opening Ceremony coverage to audiences at IMAX locations across the country, sharing in this historic moment as the world regathers to witness the spectacular beginning of 16 days of athletic greatness against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

Who's Hosting the Olympics Opening Ceremony

Coverage of the procession of 10,500 athletes down the River Seine and all the activities that precede and follow will also look a little different this year. Normally, NBC sticks to the usual news anchor/sports announcer combination for their opening ceremony coverage, but this year, they're bringing in the star power for the first time.

Singer, songwriter, and talk show host Kelly Clarkson and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning will join four-time opening ceremony host and NBC Sportscaster Mike Tirico as the official hosts of NBC Universal's 2024 opening ceremony coverage. The Today Show's Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb will also join the broadcast team on July 26.

Why are the 2024 Olympics so different?

Both NBC and 2024 Olympic host France want to renew interest in the Olympic games. What used to be a must-watch event has seen a decline in viewership and overall interest in the past decade.

NBC is bringing in new faces and taking a new approach to their traditional coverage, while France is ensuring the games not only have minimal negative effect on it's citizens and the climate before and during the games, but actually benefits them after the closing ceremonies.

The 2024 Olympics games are now less than 100 days away! We will continue to update this article as new information about the Olympics 2024 Opening Ceremony becomes available.

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