June 20, 2024

Skateboarding and breakdancing where Robespierre was beheaded: the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics

2024: election year, leap year, year of the dragon and the first year to include breakdancing as an Olympic event.

This year’s Paris Summer Olympics will be a spectacle for sports and history lovers alike as the City of Lights takes on the nearly €8 billion task of renovating one of the oldest and most iconic cities in the Western world into a showcase for some of the world’s greatest athletes. 

With the Olympics taking place from July 26 to Aug. 11, and the Paralympics taking place from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there is a lot to look forward to in the sporting events that will not only take place all around Paris, but the south of France and Tahiti as well. 

Classic and new events, including “breaking” (breakdancing), skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing, will be as interesting to watch for their locations as much as their competition. 

In the Place de la Concorde, the former Place de la Revolution where figures like Robespierre and Marie Antoinette were publicly executed, will be the location of skateboarding, breaking, freestyle BMX biking and 3×3 basketball. 

More famous Parisian sites, such as the gardens of Versailles, Les Invalides and the Grand Palais, will be the grounds for Equestrian, Archery, Fencing and Taekwondo. 

According to the official website of the 2024 Paris Olympics, “Paris’ iconic landmarks are being transformed into sporting arenas to offer spectators an unparalleled experience and provide an outstanding backdrop for sporting prowess.”

In other news on the competing athletes, of which there will be a projected 10,500, Simone Biles will return to the Olympic stage after stepping down at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

After being banned from the Olympics for 4 years following violations of anti-doping regulations, Russia, as well as Belarus, is banned yet again due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Russian and Belarusian athletes will still be able to compete as “individual neutral athletes,” according to the International Olympic Committee. Russia and Belarus are currently the only countries banned from this year’s olympics. 

Another issue the games will strive to contend with is sustainability. The Paris Olympics will take a carbon-neutral approach. By using mainly existing or temporary venues, less construction will contribute to significantly restricting the carbon footprint. 

Offsetting carbon emissions and monitoring every step of the various competitions to ensure this pledge is one of the biggest goals of this year’s Olympics. 

According to the games’ official site, “As the Games give us an opportunity to think bigger and see further, we want to help pick up the pace of the environmental transition in sport, regions and major events.” 

The Paris Summer Olympics mark 100 years since the Olympics were last in Paris. Although they are vastly different now than in 1924, the city’s history will be visible throughout. As much as the Olympics are often filled with scandal, drama and overt national pride, they’re also always an extra joy and a way to connect with others in what can sometimes be the monotony of life.

No matter the outcome of the games, the journey getting there and getting through them is sure to be like no other Olympics, and certainly won’t be one to miss. 


  • Megan Mitchell

    Megan is a second-year English Literature and History major. She is a Smooth Transitions mentor, an editor for ReCap, a student archives assistant at Blackmore Library, and a member of Film Club. In her free time she enjoys reading and watching movies.

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