From July 26 to August 11, 2024, two extraordinary athletic events will take place. After one hundred years, the Summer Olympics are finally returning to Paris, France. Shortly after, the remarkable Summer Paralympics will take place from August 28 to September 8, 2024, also in Paris.

The Olympics are one of the most influential international events in the world. These games unify athletes from 203 countries to participate in various sporting events. The Summer Olympics will consist of 329 events and 32 sports, hosting more than 10,500 athletes. With over two billion television viewers and 9.7 million spectators, the Olympics is one of the most anticipated events worldwide. They are an exceptional occurrence that allows countries to have beneficial interactions and recognize the value of global unity.

How did the Olympics begin? Written sources have been found that indicate that the ancient event first took place in Olympia, Greece throughout the years of 776 BC to 393 AD. However, the games did not last due to enemy invasions and natural disasters. After hundreds of years, a French educator and historian named Pierre de Coubertin presented an idea to reintroduce the games in 1900 in his hometown of Paris. However, representatives from many countries were so delighted by the concept that they had already re-established the games in 1896 in Athens, Greece, where the first official Olympics were held.

The Summer Paralympics will occur over a period of eleven days in Paris. The Paralympics is a set of sporting events for people with disabilities, designed to enable everyone to take part in the Olympic games. The Summer Paralympics will be composed of 549 events and 22 sports, consisting of more than 4,400 athletes. The Summer Paralympic participants and games will also be spectated by more than three million people. 184 National Paralympic Committees will meet up to engage in these sporting events for the seventeenth time

What events will there be at both the Olympics and Paralympics in 2024? The Olympics will feature numerous sports in iconic venues such as tennis at the Roland-Garros stadium (home of the French Open), 3 x 3 basketball at the Place de la Concorde (near the US embassy), and beach volleyball at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The Paralympics will consist of extraordinary adaptive sports such as blind football, para-badminton, para-rowing, and wheelchair tennis. There are also four new sports being introduced by Paris in 2024, including breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing.

The Summer Olympics and Paralympics will be televised in various ways. NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo will broadcast the 2024 Paris games. Otherwise, one can spectate the events by purchasing official tickets on their website. More than 10 million tickets will be sold for the Summer 2024 Olympics, and more than 2.8 million tickets are predicted to be sold for the Summer 2024 Paralympics.

In the spirit of Olympism captured in the words of Pierre de Coubertin himself, “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” Concord Academy students should gear up to support athletes from the more than twenty countries represented at CA!