2024 Paris Olympic competition schedule released

2024 Paris Olympic Opening Ceremony Seine River
Paris 2024
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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.

MORE: Full 2024 Paris Olympic competition schedule

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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Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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