29 Apr 2024

Olympics 2024: What you need to know about dates, tickets, sports, the schedule and opening ceremony

6:56 am on 29 April 2024
A temporary stadium next to the Eiffel Tower will host the Olympics beach volleyball tournament.

An artist's impression of the temporary beach volleyball stadium being built beside the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Supplied/Paris 2024

The 2024 Olympics are fast approaching.

Across an array of sports, 10,000 top athletes will battle it out for a coveted medal - and the right to be called an Olympic champion.

Here is all you need to know about dates, tickets, the schedule and more.

A man plays basketball at the Place de la Concorde which is the venue of the BMX freestyle, Skateboarding, Breaking and 3×3 basketball at Paris Olympics in Paris, France on Feb. 12, 2024. 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Paris. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun ) (Photo by Kaname Muto / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP)

A man plays basketball at the Place de la Concorde, which is being transformed into an urban sports arena for the Olympics. Photo: AFP/Kaname Muto

Where are the 2024 Olympics going to be held?

This year, the Olympics will be held in France, with most of the competitions being held in Paris and its surrounds.

Temporary venues are being set up throughout the city, including a stadium beside the Eiffel Tower and an open-air arena at the Place de la Concorde. (For history buffs, that's the site of Marie Antoinette's execution.)

The former will host beach volleyball, while the latter will become the home for urban sports, including 3x3 basketball, breaking (also known as breakdancing), skateboarding and freestyle BMX.

Just north of Paris, the Stade de France will host rugby, athletics and the closing ceremony, while equestrian events and the modern pentathlon will be held at the glittering Palace of Versailles, about 21km from the city.

Not all of the events will be held in or near the City of Lights. Basketball and handball will be played at Villeneuve-d'Ascq in northern France and football heats will be played at stadiums throughout the country, including Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes and Nice.

Sailing races will be held in Marseilles, on the Mediterranean coast, while the surfing competition will be held in Teahupo'o, on the southwestern coast of Tahiti (part of French Polynesia).

The Olympic surfing competition will be held this year at Teahupo'o reef pass in Tahiti, French Polynesia.

The surfing competition will be held in Tahiti. Photo: Supplied/Paris 2024

How many times has Paris hosted the Olympics?

This is the third time Paris will host the Summer Olympics. It previously hosted in 1900 and 1924.

When are the Paris Olympics?

The Olympics will be held from 27 July to 12 August NZT, with the opening ceremony beginning at 5.30am on 27 July.

However, some competitions with multiple heats will begin prior to the opening ceremony. Football and rugby sevens will begin on 25 July NZT and archery and handball on 26 July.

Eliza McCartney competing at the 2023 Brisbane Track Classic

Eliza McCartney won bronze at Rio in 2016 and will contest her second Olympics. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

How much are Paris Olympics tickets?

Tickets to watch many competitions are already sold out at time of writing, but there are plenty still available for some sports, including football and rugby sevens.

The cheapest tickets available are for the football heats and will set you back €24 (NZ$43).

A ticket to a rugby sevens pool round costs €65 (NZ$118), while handball preliminaries, rowing heats and canoe slalom heats are €90 (NZ$163).

Tickets cost more as the competition progresses. For example, tickets to the men's swimming semi-final are €690 (NZ$1250).

At the most expensive end of the scale, hospitality packages - including lounge access, food, drinks and entertainment - are still available for a select number of sports and cost up to €1995 (NZ$3613).

Where can I buy Paris Olympics tickets?

Tickets can be bought from the official 2024 Olympics site.

People are being warned only to buy from there, as those who purchase tickets from other websites may be denied entry.

What sports will be played at the 2024 Olympics?

The sports being played at this year's Olympics are: archery, gymnastics (both artistic and rhythmic), artistic swimming, athletics, badminton, basketball (both 5x5 and 3x3), beach volleyball, boxing, breaking, canoeing (slalom and sprint), cycling (BMX freestyle, BMX racing, mountain biking, road cycling and track cycling), diving, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, handball, hockey, judo, marathon swimming, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, trampoline, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.

Shigeyuki Nakarai performs during the men's event of the 5th All Japan Breaking Championships at NHK Hall in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo on Feb. 17, 2024. Nakarai advanced to the quarter-finals. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun ) (Photo by Takuya Matsumoto / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP)

Breaking will be judged at the Summer Olympics for the first time. Photo: AFP/Takuya Matsumoto

Which sports will be new at the 2024 Olympics?

Breaking is the only sport having its Summer Olympics debut this year. It was previously held at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

Sixteen B-Boys and 16 B-Girls will face off in solo battles, with a panel of judges awarding each breaker points for creativity, personality, technique, variety, style and musicality. The breaker with the highest points is declared the winner.

Surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing have all been added to the Paris Olympics lineup after successful debuts at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

When is the opening ceremony and what will it look like?

The opening ceremony will be held on the evening of 26 July in the centre of Paris. For those watching from New Zealand, it will run from 5.30am-9.15am on 27 July.

For the first time in the history of the modern Summer Olympics, the opening ceremony will take place outdoors. Ten thousand athletes will wind their way down the Seine on boats, finishing at the Trocadéro Gardens where the final formalities will take place.

If you're travelling to France and hoping to catch the opening ceremony, you're in luck: there is no admission fee for most spectators and you do not need a ticket to access the upper quays of the river. However, you'd be advised to get there well in advance to secure a spot, as about 300,000 people are expected to attend.

Those wishing to watch the ceremony from the lower quays will need to buy tickets, which are available at time of writing for €500-€2700 (NZ$906-$4890) from the official site.

The opening ceremony for the 2024 Olympics will be held on the River Seine and in the Gardens of the Trocadero.

An artist's impression of the opening ceremony on the Seine. Photo: Supplied/Paris 2024

How can I watch the 2024 Olympics?

Sky has the New Zealand broadcast rights for the 2024 Olympics, including the opening ceremony.

Sky will have 12 channels dedicated to the games. Some will be screened on Sky Open, which is free-to-air.

How can I find out the schedule for the Olympic Games?

The full schedule can be found here.

It is subject to change right up until the end of the games, so check back regularly to ensure you don't miss your favourite athletes in action.

When and where will the next winter and summer Olympics be held?

The next Winter Olympics will be hosted by the Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo from 6-22 February 2026 (local time).

The next Summer Olympics will be held in Los Angeles, California from 14-30 July 2028 (local time).

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