Macron unveils Olympic Aquatics Centre in countdown to Paris Games

French President Emmanuel Macron will on Thursday hail the array of artisans, architects and engineers involved in building the Paris Aquatics Centre during an inauguration ceremony of the showpiece venue to be used during the Olympic Games.

The 180 million-euro centre – a stone's throw from the Stade de France in Saint-Denis – will host water polo, diving and synchronised swimming competitions between 26 July and 11 August.

In the month after, it will be used as a training facility for the Paralympics swimming events.

In the years before the bid was lodged to host the Olympics, leaders of the Seine Saint Denis department just outside Paris had lobbied for a pool to aid an area where statistics revealed that 60 percent of the 11-year-olds in the region were unable to swim.

The Aquatics Centre will be able to host spectators around the pool in stands which can be configured for between 2,500 and 5,000 people.

Outside, a footbridge over the A1 motorway connects the complex with the Stade de France, which will be the venue for the athletic events.

Solar farm

On an environmental level, a 5,000 square metre roof covered with photovoltaic panels, will make it one of France’s largest urban solar farms and supply all the energy that the centre needs.

Paris 2024 executives initially set a target equivalent to 1.58 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. But that ambition has been lowered to around 1.75 million tonnes to allow for the visitors flying from abroad to the events around France.

Read more on RFI English

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