The first ever Summer Paralympic Games in France
Sign singing the Marseillaise
Betty Moutoumalaya wrote to Paris 2024 suggesting she sign sing the Marseillaise. True to our aim to include everyone in the Games, we were delighted to agree to the request.
Betty is able to hear and in her spare time enjoys to sign sing, the art of using sign language to interpret the words, rhythm and emotional depth of music. At the ceremony to mark the handover of the Paralympic Games from Tokyo to Paris, she will put on a dynamic and meaningful sign singing performance of the French national anthem, the Marseillaise.
Games for all
Paris 2024 aims to ensure the Olympic and Paralympic Games are accessible to everyone. As it prepares to welcome the entire world – athletes, staff, journalists and spectators, whether able-bodied or disabled – the organisation is already working on universal accessibility. Paris 2024 was deeply touched and immediately taken by Betty’s suggestion to perform a sign sung version of the Marseillaise, which traditionally is exclusively musical.
Working together to make the Games happen
Betty Moutoumalaya’s approach epitomises the solidarity we endeavour to demonstrate and offers the personal interpretation of an amateur artist that perfectly aligns with our unwavering drive to involve as many people as possible in the 2024 Games. It is crucial to read the letters sent by the public, get them actively involved and offer inclusive solutions in more and more fields, wherever possible, especially given that 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability. Noone should be excluded.
We can only achieve big things if we work together – and to do so, we team up with the people who hold the right expertise. We are building the Paris 2024 project as a team, working closely with our stakeholders and partners to ensure the Games are good for everyone. Sadeck’s choreography illustrates the importance of working as a collective, where each individual plays an essential role.
Oxandre was born without a left hand. Now aged 14, the young fan of chess and archery was the first person in France to receive a Hero Arm, a 3D-printed bionic arm. This new prosthesis has opened up an infinite number of opportunities for Oxandre, who can now even carry out movements that are impossible for arms made of flesh and blood. In a symbolic moment at the Paralympic Handover Ceremony, Oxandre will take over from Betty, precisely controlling his arm and hand to carry out movements alongside Sadeck Waff.
Sadeck Waff is an artist with many talents. Cocreator and choreographer of a new concept, Géométrie Variable, a clever mixture of dance and theatre, he is getting involved in increasing numbers of performances and projects. Thanks to his creativity and ingenuity, as well as his perfectionist nature, Sadeck is a pioneer in a variety of areas. He is passionate about the scenery and videography aspects of his work, while his movements and choreography can only be described as artful and poetic. At the ceremony marking the handover of the Paralympic Games from Tokyo to Paris, Sadeck will direct a spectacular and hypnotic dance sequence honouring the Paralympic movement and the athletes’ physical prowess to the song Prologue by Woodkid.
Chloé Dufresne is a conductor and has conducted symphony concerts since 2018, starting at the Paris Philharmonic in January 2020. This season, she has been invited to conduct the national orchestras of France, Montpellier, Auvergne and Ile de France, as well as Finland’s Vaasa City Orchestra. For Paris 2024, she conducted the National Orchestra of France to record Prologue, an energetic and rhythmic tune composed by Woodkid that will accompany Sadeck’s troupe of dancers.
Alexandre Mattiussi, a French designer and founder of the Ami clothing brand, came up through some of the most renowned fashion houses such as Givenchy, Marc Jacobs and Dior. But he then decided to create his own label, Ami, where he mixes creativity and authenticity with his own values. Alexandre dressed the dancers in Sadeck Waff’s troupe with understated elegance for their performance at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games.
Woodkid is a multidisciplinary artist who has been part of the French music scene for over 15 years. As a graphic designer, director and singer-songwriter, Woodkid – aka Yoann Lemoine – wears many hats. Enjoying growing success, he has been stacking up international recognition (including three Grammy nominations) for over a decade thanks to his skills in various areas such as the direction of music videos and the creation of his own music, with his first album, The Golden Age, going platinum. Woodkid teamed up with Paris 2024 to write “Prologue”, an original composition that will accompany Oxandre and Sadeck and his troupe, embodying the Paris 2024 project and its values.
Various physical, intellectual and vision impairments are represented at the Paralympic Games. Competing together despite our differences is one of the many reasons why sport is so important, and that is even more true for people with disabilities. Sport helps them to get out and about and create and maintain social ties. The performance led by Sadeck is a tribute to the Paralympic values, illustrated by his troupe of 128 dancers, 15% of whom have disabilities. Able-bodied and disabled people alike will move in harmony and without barriers to deliver an intense and moving performance.
Technology to benefit everyone
The Paralympic Games showcase the very highest level of international performance. At every new edition, the competition ramps up, new records are set, and equipment becomes more and more innovative. Technology is key in disciplines where athletes depend on prostheses, wheelchairs or adapted bicycles. What’s more, athletes at the Paralympic Games often use prototypes of crucial innovations that are then made available to the wider public. These innovations, initially produced for athletes, end up making daily life easier for anyone with a disability – as is the case for young Oxandre and his Hero Arm.
Pone and the Live Games at the Trocadéro
Pone of Fonky Family
Pone – aka Guilhem Gallart – is the former DJ for Fonky Family, a rap collective from Marseille that rose to fame in the 90s. He has also written songs for some of France’s biggest rappers, such as Rohff, Don Choa and Diam’s. He is now paralysed due to motor neurone disease, but never gave up on his passion, continuing to produce music using special software that enables him to write and mix music just by moving his eyes. By harnessing this incredible system, Pone is able to perform at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games during the last Live Games at the Trocadéro, where one of his songs will be played during the final part of the Handover Ceremony of the Games from Tokyo to Paris.
To achieve Paralympic greatness, athletes must accept, adapt to and overcome their disability, while never giving up in the face of their day-to-day challenges; in short, they must be resilient. By refusing to abandon his passion for music, even as his illness paralysed him, Pone is a true symbol of resilience. Retaining his penchant for producing, he found a way to create music using special software that can be controlled by his eyes alone. Using this incredible innovation, Pone was able to release new music in 2020 and 2021, raising funds to set up a non-profit association that aims to help patients that are hooked up to equipment return to live in their own homes.
Sport for all
Paris 2024 aims to organise Games for everyone that are accessible to as many able-bodied and disabled people as possible. More generally, Paris 2024 is involved in a range of programmes with its partners to enable everyone to get involved with sport, and advocates for fostering collective involvement in sports so that as many as possible benefit from the positive impact of sport on a daily basis.
During the Live Games, events all over the country, including at the Trocadéro for example, have enabled the people of France to learn about and get into Paralympic sports while watching broadcasts of the events in Tokyo and discovering – or rediscovering – the Paralympic spirit and values. Sport in all of its forms is a creator of social ties and inclusion, which is why Paris 2024 is aiming to increase its reach in France.