The 2024 Paris Olympic competition schedule features all major finals in gymnastics, swimming and track and field in the evenings, surfing in Tahiti scheduled for the first four full days of the Games and the Olympic debut of breaking on the final weekend.
The Games — July 24-Aug. 11 — feature 329 medal events, 10 fewer than the record 339 in Tokyo. Paris hosts for a record-tying third time, 100 years after its last time hosting.
It’s the first Olympics held in Western Europe since 2012, and the timing of events will largely resemble those London Games.
With the six-hour time difference, the major gymnastics, swimming and track and field finals will take place in the afternoon Eastern time.
In a break from tradition, handball will be the first competition of the Games, two days before the Opening Ceremony. France shares the Olympic record for handball medals (seven) and gold medals (four), including sweeping the men’s and women’s golds in Tokyo.
As usual, preliminary soccer matches will also start on the Wednesday before the Opening Ceremony at venues across the country, including Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Saint-Etienne. Group play in rugby also starts that day.
It’s no surprise that surfing, with Tahiti approved as the venue two years ago, is scheduled for the first four full days of the Games, allowing cushion in case weather forces delays. Surfing debuted at the Tokyo Games and will remain on the program through the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris, will break the record for farthest Olympic medal competition to be held away from the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.
Breaking is the lone sport on the Paris program that will make its Olympic debut, though it was held at the last Youth Summer Olympics in 2018.
Other Paris 2024 highlights include:
- An Opening Ceremony that will be the first of its kind — held outside along the Seine River with boats carrying athletes along famous landmarks, climaxing with the Eiffel Tower.
- Competition venues including Roland Garros for tennis and boxing, Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower for beach volleyball and the Palace of Versailles for equestrian and modern pentathlon.
- A mass participation marathon held in relation to the Olympics on the Olympic marathon route.
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