Paris 2024 Paralympics opening ceremony to be held on Champs Elysees and Place de la Concorde

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - September 5, 2021. A 'Paris 2024' mural is seen during the closing ceremony REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

PARIS (Reuters) - The opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will be held in the heart of the city, with the spotlight being on the athletes at the Champs Elysees and Place de la Concorde, organisers said on Thursday.

It will be the first time that the opening ceremony of the Paralympics will be held outside a stadium, and it will be attended by 65,000.

"From the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde, I can’t wait to imagine the show that will transform the heart of Paris into an unprecedented artistic festival, with performances never seen before," Thomas Jolly, the artistic director of the ceremony, said.

"A show that will put the spotlight on Paralympic athletes and the values they embody. A show that will bring together spectators and viewers worldwide around the unique spirit of the Paralympic Games.”

The opening ceremony of the Olympics will also be held outside of the main stadium, with athletes parading on boats down the river Seine in an event that could be attended by 600,000, organisers said earlier this year.

Four stages featuring artistic events will be set up on the Place de la Concorde.

The cost of the operation has not been revealed yet, but Thierry Reboul, the creative director of Paris 2024, said the figures would be known after the next budget meeting on Dec. 12.

In a city that has been struggling to make public transport accessible for all, organisers vowed to work "closely with the International Paralympic Committee, the CPSF (French Paralympic Committee) and the relevant authorities (to) ensure that universal accessibility is integrated into all aspects of the ceremony so that athletes, participants and spectators can truly enjoy their experience."

The opening ceremony will be held on Aug. 28 2024.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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