Paris 2024 Olympic competition schedule published in detail

Paris Olympic Rings
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Paris 2024 Olympic organizers published the first public, detailed version of the Games competition schedule. Opportunities abound for Katie LedeckySydney McLaughlin and some of the world’s top swimmers and track and field athletes.

The full schedule is here. It was first published on the eve of the two-years-out date from the Opening Ceremony, which will be the first of its kind along the Seine River.

As far as competition, this schedule (which is subject to change, consider what’s been published the latest version) was always going to be intriguing.

Start with swimming. It was previously announced that its schedule would extend from eight nights of finals to nine, leading many to wonder if the women’s 200m freestyle and 1500m free finals would be separated. In Tokyo, the first Games to include the women’s 1500m free, the finals were in the same session, creating a busy night for Katie Ledecky. She placed fifth in the 200m free (which she won in 2016) and won the 1500m.

For Paris, at least for now, the 1500m and 200m finals are two days apart. Ledecky, who dropped the 200m free from her world championships slate last month in part because it overlapped with the 1500m at that meet, said before worlds that she was undecided about the 200m free for 2024.

“It definitely would be more on the table if the schedule does open up a little bit more and creates a little more rest in there,” she said in June before taking gold in all four of her events at worlds.

If Ledecky qualifies for the 2024 Games in the same events as she did in Tokyo — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, plus the 4x200m free relay — she could swim eight consecutive days in Paris, but never have to race twice in the same session.

July 27: 400m freestyle heat and final
July 28: 200m freestyle heat and semifinal
July 29: 200m freestyle final
July 30: 1500m freestyle heat
July 31: 1500m freestyle final
Aug. 1: 4x200m freestyle relay final
Aug. 2: 800m freestyle heat
Aug. 3: 800m freestyle final (12th anniversary of Ledecky’s first Olympic title in 800m free in London)

Her slate would culminate with the 800m free final on Saturday, Aug. 3, which could be the first of consecutive crown jewel days of the Games.

In the first Olympics with swimming, track and field and gymnastics finals on both days of the middle weekend, that Saturday’s finals also include the men’s 100m butterfly (Caeleb Dressel‘s trademark event), men’s shot put (where Ryan Crouser is the two-time reigning Olympic champion, world champion and world record holder), women’s 100m (possibly including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah going for a third gold in the event) the end of the decathlon (where France’s biggest track and field star, Kevin Mayer, is reigning world champion and world record holder) and the first night of apparatus finals in gymnastics, which could include the return to action of the all-around gold medalists from earlier in the week.

An American won the last five Olympic women’s all-around titles. What’s more, 2016 champ Simone Biles has teased the idea of making a comeback as a specialist rather than an all-arounder, so if she returns, her individual target would be those apparatus finals that start Aug. 3.

In track and field, Sydney McLaughlin‘s coming decision on what event(s) she will focus on could be impacted by the 2024 Olympic schedule. McLaughlin, after shattering her 400m hurdles world record to win her first world title last week, said anything is possible moving forward, including shifting to the flat 400m, which her coach has said is in her future.

McLaughlin showed what was possible in the closing 4x400m relay at worlds on Sunday by clocking 47.91 seconds on her leg, the second-fastest split in the last 33 years, according to track statisticians.

In every previous Olympics since the women’s 400m hurdles debuted on the program in 1984, at least one round of the event was on the same day as a round of the flat women’s 400m.

In Paris, that will not be the case — in the traditional sense. A woman who advances from first round to semifinals to final of each event would have this schedule:

Aug. 4: 400m hurdles first round
Aug. 5: 400m first round
Aug. 6: 400m hurdles semifinal
Aug. 7: 400m semifinal
Aug. 8: 400m hurdles final
Aug. 9: 400m final
Aug. 10: 4x400m relay final

A caveat is that the Paris Games will introduce repechage rounds, an extra, second-chance round for athletes who do not advance from the first round to the semifinals. That’s something that McLaughlin and the rest of the world’s top athletes shouldn’t have to worry about.

All time, five women and 45 men have competed in both the 400m and 400m hurdles at the same Games, according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org. None of the women earned a medal in either event. American Harry Hillman won both events at the 1904 St. Louis Games, where the fields were small and largely American.

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Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024
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The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

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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