The Paris Summer Olympics Has Some Big Problems Brewing

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Money, security and human rights issues have popped up.

In the be careful for what you wish for department, with about three months left until the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, there is trouble in paradise. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, does not want Russian and Belarussian athletes and coaches and officials in the city and participating in the event because of the now more than two-year-old war between Russia and Ukraine. France’s government asked 46 countries if they would be willing to send more than 2,000 police officers to help secure the Paris Olympics. France is on heightened alert against potential terrorist attacks during the regular Olympics and the Paralympics which starts on July 26th. France sent 200 police and military personnel to soccer’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022 and were able to get 160 officers from other European security forces for the Rugby World Cup that France hosted last year. France’s military will have 15,000 troops available to watch over the Summer Olympics. The French navy will be sending troops to Tahiti where the Olympic surfing event will be held. Human Rights activists are criticizing Paris and French elected officials for moving homeless people out of Paris so the homeless problem in Paris will not be an issue for Olympics spectators despite presenting an unreal view of the city. Paris has a major homeless problem.

Then there are cost overruns. When Paris Olympics backers were awarded the Games in 2017, the initial budget for the event was 6.6 billion euros or slightly more than $7 billion US. It is estimated that the Games will now cost around 9 billion euros or $9.7 billion US. French taxpayers may be on the hook for three to five billion euros or $3.2 billion to $5.3 billion US for the tab. Paris did get what it wanted, the Olympics.