Macron will inaugurate Olympic village in transformed area of ​​Paris

Macron will inaugurate Olympic village in transformed area of ​​Paris

PARIS (AP) — This Thursday, when French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurates the Olympic village, he will see a once-decaying part of the city transformed into one of the main centers of activity for the Paris Olympics.

The villa is located in the suburb of Saint-Denis, known in the sports world as the home of the Stade de France, where the national football and rugby teams play. But the area itself is one of the poorest in France, and was the scene of a series of riots last year after a police officer shot dead a teenager of North African descent in another capital suburb.

The Olympic Games to be held from July 26 to August 11 and the Paralympics that begin on August 28 and close on September 8 will help improve prospects and leave a lasting legacy for locals and the environment.

The construction of the ecological village led to the generation of almost 2,000 jobs, of which 1,136 will go to local residents.

It will be Macron’s first visit to the site since October 2021. Thursday’s inauguration will include a ceremony in which Solideo, the construction company of the Olympic venues in Paris, will hand over the keys to the village to the organizers of the Games.

The villa cost about 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), mostly invested by property developers. However, the number includes 646 million euros ($700 million) in public funds.

Below, a look at some key aspects of the villa.

More than 14,000 athletes and leaders will stay in the village during the Olympic Games. At the Paralympics, the number will be 9,000.

A total of 45,000 keys will be delivered on March 1. The athletes will begin to arrive on July 12.

There will be five residential areas, each named after some well-known area of ​​Paris: Abbesses, Bastille, Dauphine, Étoile, Fêtes.

The apartments vary in size but can accommodate a maximum of eight people, two per bedroom, with one bathroom for every four guests.

The beds are made of cardboard but can support a maximum weight of 250 kilograms (about 550 pounds). They were designed for the Tokyo Games, and village director Laurent Michaud said they will be recycled after the Paris Olympics to “give them another life.”

The higher height of the beds would also help Paralympic athletes.

“People in wheelchairs can actually transfer from wheelchairs to beds more easily,” Michaud told the AP. “It’s the same with the accessibility of the nightstand and the height of the outlets, which is higher than usual.”

And athletes will be able to keep their double-view duvet: blue for the Olympic Games and green for the Paralympic Games.

How to feed so many athletes from so many different places at all times?

Well, the dining room is open 24 hours a day, has a capacity for 3,260 people and serves 40,000 meals a day.

“We welcome the world to our table,” said executive chef Charles Guilloy.

There will be French and Asian cuisine, as well as Caribbean and African, along with other options.

“The restaurant is where the heart of the village is,” Guilloy told the AP. “It is also a true place of sharing, and cooking is a time of sharing.”

There is another smaller restaurant located on L’Ile SAint-Denis, which also attracts sportsmen and is reached via a bridge.

Since just over three years ago, when construction began, there have been 28 serious injuries among workers at all Olympic venues, with no deaths, said Yann Krysinski, Solideo’s chief operating officer.

“Of course, there are too many, but it is much less than we expected, according to field statistics,” Krysinski told the AP. “We have met with the CEOs of all the construction companies to ensure that the safest conditions possible were provided.”

Reducing the carbon footprint was the goal when choosing materials and natural resources.

“A good part of the buildings have a wooden structure or floor,” Krysinski said.

Naturally cooled water from a depth of 70 meters will circulate on the building’s floors to reduce the temperature of the apartments — something welcome in the August heat and without air conditioning due to environmental concerns.

After the Games, 6,000 people will use the apartments in a new residential area. It will have two schools, a wall that will protect the area from the noise of a busy highway, bicycle lanes that will lead to Paris and a new bridge that will cross the Seine.

The office space will also be used by 6,000 workers.

To burn off excess calories consumed in the dining room, a main fitness center will house more than 350 machines and two saunas, which can also help exercisers manage their weight.

There will be seven other training sites dedicated to specific disciplines such as weightlifting, modern pentathlon, fencing and wheelchair basketball.

There is also a hospital and an anti-doping center.

To get around the town, there will be 200 bicycles available, as well as electric buses.

A multi-purpose meeting point, called Village Plaza, will allow athletes to drink coffee, go to the hair salon, buy groceries, send a letter, withdraw cash or watch the Games live on a giant screen.

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AP writer John Leicester contributed to this report from Paris.

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This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.

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