Dozens of boats cruise the Seine in profitable Paris Olympics opening ceremony rehearsal | EUROtoday

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Curious onlookers gathered on bridges as dozens of boats snaked alongside the Seine river on Monday in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ distinctive opening ceremony subsequent month.

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A complete of 55 boats made the journey from Pont d’Austerlitz, named after a French navy victory in 1805, to Pont d’Iéna, a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, the nation’s most placing and finest identified landmark.

Officials are assured that the close to four-hour ceremony will run like clockwork on July 26.

“Six months ago we had like 10 minutes delay on the timing and today we are very close, almost to the second to our targets,” Thierry Reboul, the manager director for ceremonies mentioned. “So it is very satisfying. We’ve respected an extremely precise level of timing.”

On the day of the eagerly-awaited occasion, round 200 Olympic delegations will be part of the parade on greater than 80 boats. They will make the journey from east to west, alongside a six-kilometer (3.7-mile) route which has develop into a serious speaking level — for its audacity as a singular open-air occasion and for its publicity to potential hazard.

Security issues led French President Emmanuel Macron to say in mid-April that the ceremony may shift to Stade de France if the menace stage was too excessive. But Reboul mentioned Monday that authorities are making ready for the massive day as initially deliberate, with no options being ready at this stage.

There shall be a last rehearsal, involving the complete armada of boats, earlier than the opening ceremony — one which is anticipated to deliver 100 world leaders to town’s embankments, the place greater than 300,000 folks will watch.

“We will give our heart and souls to make it a great success for the French people,” France’s Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra mentioned Monday. “They deserve it.”

The rehearsal noticed 10 police speedboats shadowing the convoy, in addition to speedboats outfitted with tv cameras. There have been armed law enforcement officials stationed at varied factors alongside the best way. The boats crossed 16 bridges, passing by iconic landmarks such because the green-tinged Grand Palais — the place fencing and Taekwondo occasions shall be held.

‘Quite a lot of boats’

On every bridge, a number of dozen folks watched attentively.

“Fifty-five? That’s a lot of boats,” mentioned 49-year-old Rosa Gabriel. Taking a break between strolling from the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral, she watched it from the Pont des Arts bridge — fondly often called Love Lock Bridge, with its 1000’s of customized locks connected to the railings.

One vacationer even mistook the scene for one thing else.

“Maybe they are making a movie,” said Driss El Kaoutari, a 42-year-old from Morocco who was on vacation in Paris with his daughter.

What people actually saw were empty vessels bobbing slowly by. But they will be full of life, color, sound and movement next month.

“You will have many delegation members on the boats with their uniforms and their flags,” Reboul mentioned. “Around them there shall be many different issues, as you possibly can think about.”

The water itself has develop into a delicate and thorny matter for the organizers and politicians heading into the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games. A whopping $1.5 billion funding has already been made to enhance the Seine’s water high quality, with Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo each promising to take a dip.

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This time, it was Oudéa-Castéra’s flip to offer assurances concerning the river — the place marathon swimmers and triathletes are set to compete throughout the Olympics.

She bristled somewhat when answering.

“Regarding the quality of the Seine’s water, we are confident. You shouldn’t ask us to be ready ahead of time,” Oudéa-Castéra mentioned, including {that a} new heart for gathering waste shall be opened subsequent week.