Key dates to remember ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris

Paris is gearing up for a summer of sports as it prepares to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The city is already abuzz with preparations for the opening ceremony, test events and the journey of the Olympic torch relay. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the key dates leading up to start of the 2024 Summer Games.

Issued on:

The countdown is on. On July 26, 2024, the Summer Olympics will kick off in Paris, followed shortly after by the Paralympic Games. For nearly a month the French capital will become the focus of international sport as it hosts more than 300 competitions between July 26 and August 11.

July 9-16, 2023: Marseilles sailing test event

The Paris 2024 Organising Committee is holding a sailing test event in Marseilles to evaluate the infrastructure and racing areas in preparation for the Olympic Games.

July 26, 2023: D-365 to the Olympic Games

On July 26, 2023, the 365-day countdown to the official start of the Games in Paris begins, coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of the last Summer Games held on French soil. FRANCE 24 will dedicate a special day across its platforms to celebrate the event.

August 17-20, 2023: Paris triathlon test event

Paris and its iconic Alexandre III bridge will host an Olympic and Paralympic Games triathlon test event from August 17-20. Individual races will take place on August 17 and 18, a para-triathlon will be held on the 19th and the mixed relay on August 20.

July 26 and 27, 2023: French youth golf championships

The Olympic configuration of the Golf National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines will be put to the test during the French Youth Championship on July 26 and 27.

August 2-6, 2023: World Rowing Under 19 Championship

Vaires-sur-Marne stadium will host tests for sprint canoeing, slalom canoeing and rowing events. Rowing will serve as the inaugural test event for Paris 2024 during the U19 World Championships.  

August 5-6, 2023: Fourth stage of the open water world cup

A round of the Open Water Swimming World Cup will take place in the Seine near Alexandre III bridge.

August 11-20, 2023: World surfing league (WSL) stopover in Tahiti

Even France’s overseas territories will get a taste of Olympic fever, hosting surfing events in Tahiti, French Polynesia, on the legendary Teahupo’o wave. The WSL 2023 will assess the venue’s Olympic preparations in coordination with the Paris Olympic committee.

August 19- 20, 2023: Fourth stage of the archery world cup

Archery will take centre stage against the backdrop of the iconic Paris Les Invalides landmark. The fourth leg of the 2023 World Cup will be held in Paris, offering a glimpse at the future archery venue for the Games.

August 28, 2023: 365 Days until the Paralympic Games

Since their first appearance in Rome in 1960, the Paralympic Games have grown in importance. As the world’s leading parasport event, they are a unique opportunity for athletes with disabilities. One year before the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games, FRANCE 24 will dedicate a special edition to this event.

August 30 to September 1, 2023: Canoeing and para-canoeing World Cups

Following rowing events, the Vaires-sur-Marne Olympic site will test sprint canoeing and para-canoeing during the World Cup held at the centre.

September 2023: Volunteers receive their assignments

Between September and the end of the year, the Paris organising committee will notify the 45,000 selected volunteers for the Olympic Games about their specific assignments. However, some may be called upon during the summer to participate in test events, such as the sailing event in Marseilles or the triathlon in Paris.

September 23 and 24, 2023: MTB test event

This will be a dress rehearsal for the Olympic Games. A preparatory race for the mountain bike event of Paris 2024 will be held on September 23-24 at Élancourt Hill, the highest point in the Île-de-France region, located in the Yvelines department.

October 5-8, 2023: Canoe slalom world cup finals

The final test event at the Vaires-sur-Marne centre will be the canoe slalom World Cup finals.

October 9, 2023: Paralympic Games tickets open

Official ticket sales for the Paralympic Games, scheduled from August 28 to September 8, 2024, will open this October 9. Half of the tickets available for sale will be priced at €25 or less.

April 8-14, 2024: Event at Châteauroux national shooting centre

Test competitions are scheduled to take place at the Châteauroux national shooting centre in Indre from April 8-14, 2024.

April 29, 2024: 100 days until the Olympic Games

From April 29 to May 8, 2024: Olympic aquatic centre test event

The final venue to be completed, the Saint-Denis Olympic Aquatic Centre, will be put to the test with targeted events featuring artistic swimming, diving and water polo from April 29 to May 8, 2024.

May 4-5, 2024: Field hockey test event

Yves-du-Manoir stadium in Colombes will be put to the test with an international field hockey tournament from May 4-5, 2024. While the venue may have changed since the 1924 Olympic Games, it remains a direct legacy of the last Summer Olympics in the French capital.

May 8, 2024: Arrival of the Olympic flame in Marseilles

After a 10-day journey from Greece on the Belém, one of Europe‘s oldest three-masted sailing ships, the Olympic flame will arrive in France. Marseilles, with its strong historical ties to Greece, will first welcome the flame to its shores before it embarks on the 775km (480 mile) journey to the capital.

July 14, 2024: Arrival of the Olympic flame in Paris

After traversing more than 60 French departments, the Olympic flame will arrive in Paris on July 14, the Bastille Day national holiday.

July 24, 2024: Start of events

Some team sports will kick off even before the opening ceremony. The Rugby 7s and soccer matches will begin on July 24, while handball starts the following day.

July 26, 2024: Olympic Games opening ceremony

Paris will kick off the Games with a spectacular opening ceremony on July 26, 2024. Organised outside of a stadium for the first time, the ceremony will start at 8:24pm as approximately 100 boats carrying the athlete delegations set sail down the Seine from Pont d’Austerlitz in the east to the Eiffel Tower.

August 11, 2024: Olympic Games closing ceremony

The closing ceremony of the Paris Olympics will take place at the Stade de France, but it won’t mark the end of the Olympic sequence as the Paralympic Games will take some 17 days later.

August 28, 2024: Paralympic Games opening ceremony

As one competition ends, another begins. The first-ever French Paralympic Games will open on August 28 for 11 days of competition with an open-air ceremony between the Champs-Élysées and Place de la Concorde.

September 8, 2024: Paralympic Games closing ceremony

That’s a wrap for Paris 2024: The Paralympic Games will come to a close, bringing an end to Paris’s Olympic summer.  

The article was adapted from French. To read the original click here.

Source link

#Key #dates #remember #ahead #Olympic #Games #Paris

Is the Gold Coast’s Superbank a miracle of mother nature or a masterpiece of human engineering?

It’s the 2-kilometre miracle of Australian surfing. 

When lines of swell march up Australia’s east coast the eyes of the surfing world turn to the strip of coastline between Snapper Rocks and Kirra known simply as the Superbank.

Australia is blessed with so many beaches that if you visited a new one every day it would take you 32 years to see them all, but few of them have captured the imagination of surfers quite like this stretch of sand on the Gold Coast.

When the stars align and the swell, wind and tide are right, the ocean’s energy wraps around the point into Rainbow Bay and rolls along the ruler-straight sandbank, producing perfect hollow barrels.

The waves are so long and break with such mechanical precision you would swear they were human-made.

Postcode of surfing champions

Scientist, surfer and Griffith University oceanographer Darrell Strauss says Coolangatta’s geography is tailor-made for surfing.

“The swell is just running down that bank and it grooms itself,” Dr Strauss said.

“Waves create the current, the current moves the sand and you just end up with ideal conditions.”

It is more than just a high-quality wave.

The swell-rich region breaks with such regularity that it’s considered one of the most consistent (and definitely the most crowded) waves on the planet.

It’s no coincidence the postcode has produced more surfing champions than anywhere in the world — the training ground for the likes of Stephanie Gilmore, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Mark Occhilupo and Wayne Bartholemew.

Eight-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore grew up surfing Snapper Rocks.()

It wasn’t always like this.

The Superbank has only existed for a generation.

Its origin is in a jetty in the Tweed and debate still rages over whether the Superbank is a natural wonder or human-made.

Man’s meddling

Sand is the lifeblood of the Gold Coast point breaks.

Every year roughly 600,000 cubic metres of sand — enough to fill 240 Olympic swimming pools — drifts past the Gold Coast.

These rivers of gold are pushed northward by Mother Nature along the east coast sand super-highway.

A breakdown of the Coolangatta surf zone.()

For millennia, the movement of sand in this part of the world went relatively unobstructed, until the extension of the Tweed River breakwalls in 1962.

The Tweed bar was a notoriously treacherous crossing and the training walls, which extend 380 metres out to sea, were built to provide safe passage for boats.

While it succeeded in making the river mouth safer, it disrupted the natural flow of sand, causing enormous quantities to accumulate at Fingal Head to the south while starving the Gold Coast beaches to the north.

Coolangatta beaches became badly eroded, washed away by a series of powerful cyclones over the following decade.

Coolangatta from above in 1980. The shape of the bay was very different.()

It changed the shape of Rainbow Bay, splitting the bank and breaking the wave up into sections.

“They were kind of separate waves back then,” said former surfing world champion Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholemew.

“Snapper would sometimes connect with Rainbow and Greenmount used to break down the natural point.”

Few people understand the history and mechanics of Coolangatta’s surf breaks like Bartholomew, who was raised across the road and grew up surfing there.

Before sand pumping, Snapper Rocks still had potential to be a world-class wave, but Kirra received most of the fanfare and Burleigh was considered the pick of the Gold Coast points.

By the mid 1990s, after three decades of sand starvation, the situation was grim.

“People have very short memories,” Bartholomew said.

“We would get 18-month or two-year periods where there was no sand at Snapper. It was all sitting out there on the Tweed bar.

“I remember sitting up in the Rainbow Bay Surf Club with friends who had been here for a couple of years and they said, ‘Rabs, does it ever get good here?’

“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? This is one of the finest sand bottom point breaks in the world!’

“They had been here two years and hadn’t seen it break.”  

Pumping waves

That all changed in 2001 with the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing project.

Its goal was to improve the safety of the bar by using the sand that had built up around the river mouth to replenish the Gold Coast beaches, reversing the impact of the sea walls and restoring the natural order of things.

It involved the construction of a 450m jetty at Fingal’s Letitia Spit that sucks up sand from the south side of the river, and sends it through a 2-kilometre pipeline network to Froggy Beach.

A visual representation of the Tweed Sand Bypass pipeline network. ()

Manager of Tweed Sand Bypassing Matthew Harry said 90 per cent of the sand was sent to this outlet pipe called Snapper Rocks East.

“The pumps themselves actually sit below the natural surface level of the sea bed,” Mr Harry said.

“There are nozzles there that stir up the sand and fluidise it into a slurry, that gets pushed up through the jet pumps and distributed through the pipeline network.

“We’re working with nature, we are just trying to help move that sand along to the place where it should be.”

The sand bypass was an ambitious feat of engineering and the first project of its kind in the world.

The Coolangatta coastline in 1982 (top) before the Tweed Sand Bypass and in 2020 after almost two decades of sand pumping.()

The results were immediate.

Rainbow Bay filled with sand, connecting Snapper and Greenmount, and the Superbank was born.

“It had a dramatic effect on the shape of the point breaks,” Bartholomew said.

“When the sand is replenished and pumped, and it lands at Froggies and starts building and trickles around to Snapper, you know the waves are back on again.”

“I think even Kelly Slater mentioned that when he was designing his wave pool, he designed it off that Greenmount bank.

“I remember one of the first shots of it was Steph Gilmore getting barrelled off her head at Kelly’s wave pool and I went, ‘Yep, that looks like Greenmount to me.'”

Within a year of pumping, local surfer Damon Harvey caught a wave from behind the rock at Snapper to the Kirra surf club in a ride that is etched into Gold Coast surfing folklore.

The feat has never been repeated but would not have been possible were it not for the sand bypass.

The death of an icon

The creation of the Superbank came with a trade-off.

When the pumping project was announced in 1993 Bartholomew and his mate Bruce Lee, another local surfing champion, went to the first public meeting.

To this day they remain the community representatives on the bypass advisory committee.

The men were the only surfers at the meeting and they were worried about the unintended consequences of dumping 30 years worth of sand at Coolangatta.

Their fears were realised when 3 million cubic metres of sand was dredged from the Tweed bar and released around the corner in Queensland, creating an offshore “Sahara desert” and swallowing Kirra, the surfers’ favourite wave.

Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew believes Kirra may never be the same.()

“There was too much sand in the bay — incredible amounts of sand in the bay — and it really did have an adverse effect for quite a period of time,” Bartholomew said.

“Kirra got buried under sand. The project didn’t see that happening.

“The Superbank kind of became like the new Kirra, in a way. Not as good as Kirra but it became a very hollow wave and it was connected all the way along.

“Kirra is under there; it will just require an archaeological dig to find it.”

Kirra still comes alive for a fleeting moment every summer, but usually needs a powerful, 6-foot-plus cyclone swell from the east.

Bartholomew said it was just not the same.

“It used to be good even when it was 1 metre, back in the day, so you don’t see it anywhere near as often,” he said.

“Kirra still hasn’t come back to what it was and with the new dynamics of the bay and all the sand coming through, maybe it never will.

“I would like to see it, for my kids, back to its glory but it’s not a bad alternative when the Superbank is going off.

“When I was a kid walking around Kirra point to get the school bus I honestly did think there were maybe 50 Kirras down the coast, but there wasn’t.

“We are blessed to have these amazing waves.”

Myths and misconceptions

Sand pumping is revered by Gold Coast surfers, many of whom are now too young to remember the glory days of Kirra.

The bypass has adopted somewhat of a mythical status among boardriders who fantasise about being able to turn on the pumps when a good swell appears on the forecast.

But decades after it began operating, misconceptions abound about how it works and there are still detractors who would prefer we stopped meddling with Mother Nature altogether.

Matthew Harry (left) and the Tweed Sand Bypassing team in the pump room at Fingal.()

There is no reservoir of sand at Fingal ready to be sent to the Superbank at Queensland’s beck and call; they can only pump what naturally arrives at the jetty.

“Thirty years later people still don’t understand how it actually works,” Bartholomew said.

“There is no tap they can turn on, they can only pump what nature provides.

“A lot of people say let nature be nature but to do that you would have to pull down those walls at Duranbah — the Tweed River walls.”

Darrell Strauss says, ultimately, it’s the ocean that shapes the Superbank.()

As much as surfers would like to think the Superbank is human-made, Dr Strauss said it was ultimately the ocean that did the heavy lifting in shaping the bank.

“It’s not really so much turning the tap on, trying to tweak things and play Mother Nature, because at the end of the day it’s the wave climate,” he said.

“It’s the wave conditions that are going to have the final say.”

Source link

#Gold #Coasts #Superbank #miracle #mother #nature #masterpiece #human #engineering