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An unprecedented paralympic ceremony

An unprecedented paralympic ceremony
In 2024, the French capital will be hosting the country’s first-ever Summer Paralympic Games. Paris 2024 is thinking big and reinventing the template for opening ceremonies by organising a showstopping celebration away from the traditional stadium setting – right in the heart of Paris between Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Élysées.

A unique experience for the athletes

The opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will take place in a magnificent setting in the centre of Paris – the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées and the adjacent Place de la Concorde – on 28 August 2024. A total of 4,400 athletes representing 184 delegations from around the world will take part in a parade from the Champs-Élysées to Place de la Concorde, which will be accessible to people of all mobility and ability levels. Similar to the numbers in attendance at traditional, stadium-based ceremonies, 65,000 people will be able to attend the ceremony.

Place de la Concorde is an iconic square located between the Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries Gardens, just a stone’s throw from the National Assembly and the Grand Palais. It is the largest square in Paris, surrounded by some of the most important buildings and monuments in French history. Dating back to the Age of Enlightenment, Place de la Concorde forms part of the philosophical, literary and cultural heritage left behind by intellectuals referred to as lumières (meaning “lights”), making it an ideal location to shine a spotlight on the Paralympic movement. La Concorde and the Champs-Élysées – the most beautiful avenue in the world – will be exquisitely decorated, providing a breathtaking setting to promote the Paralympic movement on a world stage.

Vue de la place de la Concorde, de nuit. Une scène avec des danseurs qui tiennent des lumières. Le public massé dans les tribunes tient des drapeaux. On aperçoit la Tour Eiffel en arrière plan
© Paris 2024 / Florian Hulleu

The start of an exceptional two weeks

The opening ceremony will mark the start of innovative Games that will leave a lasting impression on people and celebrate outstanding sporting performances. The Paralympic athletes will be given an opportunity to discover prestigious venues, as the events will be taking place across a range of iconic French heritage sites.

Place de la Concorde, the centre of a constellation of iconic Parisian monuments and buildings stretching from the Louvre museum to the Arc de Triomphe, provides a breathtaking setting and is the ideal spot for kicking off the Paralympic Games. The ceremony will be accessible to all, with free tickets available. Four stages will bet set up in Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris, based on an original configuration that will open the way for various creative possibilities. The stages may or may not be used simultaneously, according to the different lengths of time needed for the various performances and formalities that will make up the opening ceremony. 

Thomas Jolly, artistic director for the Paris 2024 opening ceremonies, says:
“The opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games is a historic first. The monumental and people-focused nature of the Paralympics is, for me, an incredible source of inspiration. I can’t wait to see the show taking place in the space stretching from the Champs-Elysées to Place de la Concorde. It will transform the centre of Paris, with an artistic festival unlike any other, featuring brand new performances and shining a spotlight on Paralympic athletes and the values they embody. The ceremony will bring together those attending in person and everyone watching it on TV all over the world, sharing the unique spirit of the Paralympic Games.”

Inclusion: a key Games priority

By highlighting the Paralympic Games through spectacular performances, these Games and their opening ceremony will send an important message out to the whole world – that inclusion is fundamental to our society.

Perle Bouge, a two-time Paralympic rowing medal holder, said:
“Discovering the concept for the opening ceremony has filled us all with pride, excitement and determination. I can’t wait to be there and share this momentous occasion with thousands of spectators.”

By celebrating Paralympic athletes, Paris 2024 will harness the power of the Games to change public attitudes towards disabilities and help build a more inclusive society that will go on long after the Paralympics.