Kashif Abdul Razzaq
Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan was disqualified from the world championships for refusing to shake hands with a Russian athlete, highlighting the challenges faced by France and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the lead-up to the 2024 Olympics.
In previous Games, Russian athletes were allowed to compete as neutrals, but this has faced criticism. The IOC is struggling to find a balanced solution amid opposing views. France also faces internal issues, with riots, pension strikes, and complaints about expensive tickets threatening the public’s sentiment towards the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics in Paris comes with memories of previous events, like the 1998 FIFA World Cup, which raised hopes of regeneration, but some doubt the inclusivity and competency of the organizers.
Athletes like Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and American swimmer Katie Ledecky aim to cement their legacies in the upcoming Games. Despite the challenges, organizers hope the Olympics will bring positive emotions and unity to the world, symbolized by a unique opening ceremony centered around the Seine River.
The Paris Games claim to be mostly financed by private investments, with only a small percentage coming from public funds to support the Paralympics.The 2024 Olympics are scheduled in France to begin on July 26 and run until August 11, with the Paralympics following from August 28 to September 8.