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9 Controversies Surrounding the 2024 Olympics

France has been the location of several massive human rights movements since its inception, and therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are several controversies currently tearing apart the country as it prepares to host the 2024 Olympics.

While you may have seen some of these things on the news, others have been swept under the rub by the Olympics organizers because they don’t want to scare potential attendees. If you want to attend the Olympics as an informed guest, keep reading.

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1. Removal of Bouquinistes for Opening Ceremony

Bouquinistes are small bookshops along the Seine River that have been built into the bridge for centuries. Initially, when the Seine opening ceremony was announced, the government said these shops would need to be removed. However, the shops are built into the bridge, meaning any removal would likely be permanent.

After several protests, it was decided that these bookshops were an integral part of French history and that they would remain during the event, though they would need to be closed and locked.

2. Olympic Swimmers Will Swim in the Seine River

France insisted that the Olympic swimmers will be swimming in the Seine river for many of their events. However, on Friday, June 21, the river failed yet another safety test, and, as a result, we assume the swimmers will be moved to an inside location.

Anyone who has been to France previously knows the Seine River is gross and filled with trash, pollution, and bacteria. We are not surprised the river has failed microbial tests, we are just more surprised that the authorities thought it would pass. They even spent $1.5 billion to try and clean it—but it’s still failing.

3. Terrorism Threats Remain High

The risk of terrorist attacks in Paris has always remained high, and these risks have only increased with the planning of the Olympic games. Add in all the social unrest from various decisions made by the government in preparation, and at this point, we would be surprised if something didn’t happen.

The main terrorism threats in Paris have to do with Azerbaijan, Russia, and Afghanistan, though it is unclear if there are any solid threats from these countries. There is some concern as an Azerbaijani website was found, which encouraged viewers to find a way to attack individuals attending the games.

4. Hijab Ban During Games

Due to the high risk of terrorism, hijabs have been banned at the Olympic events, leading to social unrest in the city of Paris, which has a high Muslim population.

5. App That Tracks Olympic Athlete Locations

Due to the security concerns, all athletes have been given an app that is supposed to increase security. The app will share the athlete’s location while also allowing them to call for help if needed. Of course, location sharing is always a tough subject, but it is not clear if the app is required or an option for the athletes.

Related: How to Bet on the Olympics (2024)

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6. Security Plans for the Games Previously Stolen

To make matters worse, the security plans for the Paris Olympics were stolen by a petty thief on the train. While he was caught and sentenced to jail, it is unclear if the plans had to be changed following the incident to ensure no outside individuals had access.

Related: Preparing for the 2024 Olympics

7. Illegal Workers Being Used to Work Games

Hosting the Olympics is expensive (look at the $1.5 billion water cleanup plan), and it has come to the attention of organizers that the city has employed several individuals for below minimum wage, paying them only 80 euros per day. While it is unclear if this includes full working hours or perhaps benefits like room and board, it is still on the low end for an event of this magnitude.

There are also rumors that workers are not being given days off or the supplies they need to complete their jobs. It is unclear if these issues are being remedied before the games.

8. Social Cleansing: Migrant Camps Closed

Anyone who has visited Paris in the past few years knows there are several migrant camps spread throughout the city. Many of these house individuals from war-torn countries like Syria and Somalia.

In advance of the games, these camps were all shut down in April, as a matter of fact. It is not clear where these migrants have gone or whether they will be allowed to return after the games. This action is being called a “social cleansing” by protestors in advance of the games. This cleansing included the removal of homeless people from the city prior to the games.

9. Israeli Athletes Allowed to Participate

In the Spring of 2024, it was announced that Russian and Belarus athletes would be allowed to participate in the Olympics despite both the war and the fact that they have been found repeatedly to give their athletes performance-enhancing drugs. The participation of these athletes would be neutral however, and they would not be allowed to reference their countries.

Even more shocking was when it announced that Israeli athletes would be allowed to participate under a neutral flag as well—meaning they can’t win any medals. Still, Palestinian sports clubs are upset, and it is expected that this will cause issues as some athletes might refuse to participate in events that feature Israeli athletes. It is also expected that there will be booing, protests, and more against the athletes.

Afghanistan was also allowed to participate in the games as long as a mix gender team attended. Currently, Afghanistan will be sending a team of 3 men and 3 women to compete. It is unclear if this will cause any issues, though Afghan officials have been barred from attending.

As you can see, there are lots of controversies surrounding the upcoming Olympics. While we expect anything serious will make the news, we are sure the smaller threats will be filtered out by the government in an effort not to scare attendees. Only time will tell if holding an event this controversial was worth it for the large city.

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2024 olympics | Paris olympics | Controversies | Social cleansing | Sports betting | Olympic problems

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