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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: Emmanuel Macron opens the Olympic village with great fanfare 148 days before the event

Over the years, the Olympic Village has become an ambition, defined as a horizon, before emerging as an appointment on a long-term roadmap.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: Emmanuel Macron opens the Olympic village with great fanfare 148 days before the event

Over the years, the Olympic Village has become an ambition, defined as a horizon, before emerging as an appointment on a long-term roadmap. This Thursday marked the end of a series that began with the purchase of the land in 2018-2019, concluded with the symbolic handing over of the key by Solideo (public establishment responsible for Olympic and Paralympic infrastructure, construction and renovation) to the Olympic Committee. organization of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the presence of the President of the Republic. Less than 5 months before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games (July 26), the Village has taken its place, marking an important step towards the Games which are slowly coming to life to the rhythm of the inaugurations (the Yves du Manoir stadium delivered on the 18 December, the Arena de la Porte de La Chapelle open on February 11) which will mark the spring calendar. On the occasion of his second trip to the site (after that made in October 2021), Emmanuel Macron, for two hours, strolled on the Cesaria Evora promenade bordering the Seine, exchanged with developers, project managers, architects, town planners, Solideo employees, ministers (Christophe Béchu, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Guillaume Kasbarian), a former Prime Minister (Jean Castex), elected officials (Valérie Pécresse, Stéphane Troussel, Patrick Ollier, Anne Hidalgo, Mathieu Hanotin, Karim Bouamrane, Mohamed Gnabaly...), workers and athletes of yesterday and today. To appreciate and salute the work accomplished. The latter hailed “the adventure of a century” during his visit. The “commitments we made in 2017 we kept them (..) You did it on time, on budget and with social and environmental exemplarity,” he added before attending the the symbolic handing over of the keys to the Village to the organizers of the Games.

He had indicated during his wishes to the French as well as during his wishes expressed to the actors of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, that “2024 is a French vintage with the Games, the commemorations of the D-Day landings and the summit of the Francophonie. It's a year of major meetings for France with the world. A year of French pride.”

The one that the Village wishes to embody. At the end of a gigantic challenge: 330,000 m2 of floor space, 52 hectares (or 70 football fields), the largest single-site project in Europe for four years, 41 architects, 9,000 trees planted and 6 hectares of public green spaces, 3,700 workers and companions mobilized in around forty buildings (91 stairwells) installed in three municipalities (Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine and Saint-Denis island), 37 cranes... For 14,250 beds intended for athletes (9,000 during the Paralympic Games). All delivered on time (with the exception of a delay of a few weeks for buildings located on Saint-Denis Island) and within the announced budget. 646 million euros in public support, including 542 million euros from the State (the rest being provided by the Ile-de-France Region, the town halls concerned, the Departmental Council, the Paris town hall and the metropolis of Grand Paris), for a total budget of around two billion euros when adding together all private developers. With less than 3% additional costs excluding inflation on all operations. 1,749 companies (from more than 70 departments) were able to fill their order books at the heart of a project including wooden constructions or air purification devices which will be an “open-air manifesto of the low-carbon city of tomorrow" (reduction of the carbon footprint by 47%), a "showcase of French excellence and innovation", an "inspiration which the government will use in the deployment of the 22 territories committed to housing that the Prime Minister cited in his general policy speech,” according to an advisor to the president.

Temporary laundromats, restaurants, food trucks, grocery store, hair salon, fitness room, training sites, alcohol-free bar, post office, polyclinic, electric shuttles or multi-faith center will be set up on the site during the Games. Tony Estanguet, the president of Paris 2024, assures: “It’s a symbolic moment. Recovering the Village, as planned, when we know what could have happened during the last editions of the Games, where it was often not a simple object, well done Solideo. We are in exciting times. It's amazing. The Paris 2024 teams will be able to configure the place (cardboard beds, bedside tables, duvets, sofas, fans, etc.) into a world village since we will welcome more than 200 countries. It's a satisfaction. A few years ago if we had been told that at this time of year, at the beginning of March, we would be on schedule for infrastructure, with a balanced budget, with millions of tickets sold, more than 300,000 candidate volunteers, more than 100,000 people who want to carry the flame... the indicators show that there is a real desire for these Games. There are also people who are less enthusiastic, this is understandable, but my role is to manage this project on the basis of fairly rational indicators which show that for the moment we are on target. Like the athletes who are qualifying, we are preparing. With our level of ambition. » The official opening of the Village will take place on July 18, in the presence of Thomas Bach, the President of the IOC. Dimitri Jozwicki, Paralympic athlete, says: “the Village is the second part of the Games. 50% is the athlete and the Village, whether we succeeded in our Games or not, it remains an exceptional moment. By setting foot in this kind of place, we realize how lucky we are to be there. I remember Tokyo. You have to imagine the least known sport in the world, with the athlete of this least known sport in the world, from the smallest country in the world, he is there. For exchange, sharing. That's wonderful. I can't wait to stay there. I'm going to get my qualification and then I'll take my room..."

The site will then be ready for a new life... Solideo will recover the premises at the end of the Paralympic Games. To launch the reversibility work, in particular the removal of removable partitions, before delivery to all developers in early 2025 for the sale of these apartments and the arrival of the first residents from summer 2025 And the eventual reception of 6,000 inhabitants (2,807 housing units) and 6,000 employees. With public services (notably two nursery and elementary school groups with 35 classes) and a densified urban link around the area with the redevelopment of the banks of the Seine, a bridge to connect Saint-Denis Island to Saint-Denis and Saint-Denis Ouen, a noise barrier on the A86. Or the development of cycle paths and the connection to the Grand Paris Express near a Village where, for a summer, the heart of the Games will beat...

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