The medals have been awarded, new stars were born and unexpected turns of events happened. Now that the Tokyo Olympics have closed, what's next for the Olympic family? In only 180 days, the 2022 Winter Olympics will kick off in Beijing, China, and a new crop of athletes will vie for a chance to step on the podium. However, that doesn't mean that the Team USA gymnasts, divers, weightlifters and the rest of the athletes aren't already back at practice.
With only three years until the next Summer Olympic Games, work has already begun. Both the athletes and the organizing committees are in full swing planning for 2024 in Paris, France. While it seems like a date in the distant future, there are already things that you can be looking forward to for the Paris 2024 Games. Here are five things to look forward to during the Paris Games:
1. 2024 will be the 100th anniversary since France has hosted an Olympic Games
Only the third city to host three Olympic Games, Paris has the special honor of doing it on its 100th anniversary.
The first time was in 1900 for the Second Olympiad and held in conjunction with the Worlds Fair. During the Games, France received 102 medals while the United States was a distant second with 48.
Paris again received the honor in 1924 for the Games of the VIII Olympiad. As the Games matured, several new standards were introduced including setting the marathon distance to 26.2 miles, standardizing an Olympic swimming pool to 50m and the introduction of the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). This was also the last Games hosted by the creator of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin.
What new traditions will become part of the Olympic Games?
2. Equestrian, Para-equestrian, and Modern Pentathlon will take place at the Palace of Versailles
Three sports will hold events in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. However, this isn't the first time major spectacles have been held at Versailles. Throughout its history, the palace and its grounds were used by royalty to impress. In the winter, the 200 foot wide by 1 mile long Grand Canal entertained visiting dignitaries with ice skating, while in the summer, gondolas plied its waters.
In order to maintain the integrity of the UNESCO World Heritage site, temporary structures will be built to host 20,000 fans near the Etoile Royale esplanade–no permanent modifications are planned to the grounds. This will necessitate some format changes for events held here, especially Modern Pentathlon, which will have a condensed schedule. All five disciplines will be run during a 90-minute period. International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) president Klaus Schormann said this could have a transformative effect on the sport’s profile and popularity as people are more interested in shorter duration events.
Sure to be a spectacle, can the Olympics live up to the pageantry of the events during Louis XIV's time?
3. Breaking will make its Olympic debut, while surfing, sport climbing, and skateboarding medalists will have their first chance to defend their titles
The Modern Olympic Games have been taking place for over 120 years, but they haven't always looked the same. As a matter of fact, there was a time when several art events were included in the program! While art hasn't been reintroduced, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games added surfing, sport climbing, and skateboarding in the hopes to attract a younger audience. Those three sports are making a comeback for the Paris Olympic Games as well as breaking being added to the roster of sports. So, b-boys and b-girls, gather round!
Breaking, a style of hip hop dancing, was initially included in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires with three events: two individual events and one mixed team event. Its surprising popularity put it on the radar for the Paris Olympic Planning Committee. They proposed to the IOC to include it in the program and final approval was granted in 2020.
Will the reigning champions in each of these new sports take home the gold or will it be a newcomer?
5. Will the logo for the 2024 Paris Games be seen as a success or a failure?
The logo is the first graphical element created for any event and is essential to establishing the brand. It sets the tone for everything that follows and there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid. Not only does an Olympic Games logo need to communicate its message in an effective visual way, it also needs to embody the essence of the host city. Finally, it needs to be translated to clothing, signage, merchandise, television and digital formats. All of this leads to successes and failures over the years.
The final design for the Paris Games is a simple, one-color icon comprised of three elements:
The round shape represents a gold medal, the highest honor bestowed upon an athlete at the Games.
The negative space inside the medal represents the Olympic Flame.
The medal and the flame merge to form an image of Marianne, a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty. She is a personification of liberty, equality, fraternity and reason.
Will it take a place alongside of great designs like those from an incredible twelve year run between 1968 - 1976 or will it be universally reviled like the 2012 London Games logo? You be the judge.
Can't get enough of the Olympics? Revist the magic from past games here.