Sustainability Isn’t the Only Goal on 2024 Olympic Games’ Agenda

Equality, accessibility are among the 15 recommendations planners — including the director of corporate and sustainable development — are undertaking for Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst       

Open to All

Along with fostering sustainable Olympic Games, increasing access in general is also identified as one of 15 recommendations in the International Olympic Committee’s latest version of Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the roadmap for the IOC and the Olympic Movement through 2025.

To “strengthen the uniqueness and the universality of the Olympic Games,” the roadmap suggests “bringing the Olympic Games to the people by, for example, taking some sports events or some parts of the ceremonies out of the stadiums and bringing them to urban and popular settings.”

Paris 2024 will mark the first time that the opening ceremonies will take place outside of a stadium setting — for both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. For the former, a parade of boats will carry more than 10,000 athletes down the Seine to the finale events in front of the Trocadéro, allowing hundreds of thousands of spectators to watch from the sidelines of the Seine, with many seats available at no cost.

Level Playing Field

At Paris 2024, for the first time in the history of the Games, as many women as men will take part in the competitions. It’s an achievement that the IOC says it has worked toward for more than two decades. London 2012 marked the first time that women competed in every sport on the Olympic program and at Atlanta 1996, the percentage of women athletes participating in the Games hovered at 34 percent.

Marie Sallois headshot

Marie Sallois

Day in, Day out

Marie Sallois has spent more than two decades working at the IOC. Today, her role as director of corporate and sustainable development encompasses two areas of focus: sustainable development and supporting the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5. The former, she adds, covers more than just sustainability — it also encompasses environmental excellence, DEI, human rights, and the impact and legacy of the Olympic Games.

In practice, her role could look like many things, from bouncing around ideas with counterparts at the Paris 2024 committee on reducing the Games’ C02 footprint to working with IOC colleagues like Panos Tzivanidis on the IOC’s ISO 20121 certification, achieved in 2023. During the Games, that role shifts a bit, where in one moment she may lend support to the organizing committees, who are primarily responsible for delivering the Games, while another is spent meeting with media and stakeholders. Essentially, no two days are the same. “That’s the beauty of working at the IOC,” she said.

Jennifer N. Dienst is senior editor of Convene. Illustration by Serge Bloch

More Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Coverage

These stories are all part of the December 2023 Convene CMP Series and cover story. Convene will periodically check in with the progress of next year’s Olympic Games, one of the largest events in the world.

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