Olympic Test event in Paris, so far so good
The Grand Palais Ephémère, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, was the scene for the Olympic test event, one year before the Olympic Games in Paris. The venue is packed and is beginning to emit that very characteristic breathing of major sporting events.
We are on the verge of the largest global sporting event and today is the day when judo begins. For eight days, the individual competitions and then the mixed team competition will take place on the two tatami installed on the Champ de Mars.
And the first Olympic champions are... As you will have understood, we have projected ourselves into the future. All this will indeed take place but it will be in exactly 331 days for the Olympic Games and 364 days for the Paralympic Games.
The Grand Palais Ephémère is already vibrating and the Olympic spirit floats over the French capital. For two days, the official test event is taking place.
If the public is not yet present, if the cheers of the crowd are still imaginary and if the look and feel of the venue is not the one of the Games, everything else is very real and for the single reason of testing the entire dynamic of the Olympic tournament. To do this, the teams of the IJF, the organising committee and the IOC are therefore meeting in Paris and the next few hours are crucial to determine what works and what needs to be corrected so that in 331 and 364 days respectively, everything goes smoothly.
Events Director Claudiu Chimoiu: "It's a very important event. We are looking for the best way to collaborate with the local organising committee, Omega and Atos for the scoring, the IOC and France Judo. Our main focuses are the flow of the competition, the medical issues and the timing and scoring," said Claudiu Chimoiu.
Dr Lisa Allan, now IJF Secretary General and former IJF Events Director after leading the organisation of the London 2012 Olympic judo event: "We are all wishing for a happy path through the Games next year and for that we need to test everything that can go wrong and then have solutions for all the problems. That is exactly the reason why we have such a test event," said Allan.
Both are present in Paris for the test event of the Paris 2024 Games. They are very attentive to the details that will make the Olympic tournament a long-awaited success, next year.
The test is not over yet but some conclusions can already be drawn. "We are very confident. Everybody knows their job. France is a great organiser and so far everything went very smoothly," both explained. The months to come will be helpful to analyse in detail all the aspects of the test event, to which will be added many other sectors such as protocol and media. For the time being, we can say, 'so far so good.’
France's experience organising major events and the human capacities involved in this test event are already guarantees for 2024 success. At the end of the test event, there will be no more doubt and the home stretch before the Games can begin. We are almost there.