Your guide to the 2024 Paris Olympics

Published on July 9, 2024 by duncan
A running platform floating on the River Seine

From cricket’s T20 World Cup to Wimbledon and the men’s Euros, 2024 has already been a treat for sports fans. But for many, the main event is due to kick off on 26 July, with the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The modern Olympic movement is more than a sports competition. It’s a life philosophy based on the balance of body and mind, exulting in the joy of effort, the value of a good example, and the need for universal respect and social responsibility.

This year it has surfing and breakdancing too!

Team GB arrives with 310 athletes ready to compete in 26 different sports over 17 days of intense competition. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the event, and Team GB’s medal hopefuls.

The Olympics has a long history but continues to evolve

While the original games date back to around 776BC, the modern event began in 1896. The ancient celebration of physical prowess is now symbolised by the Olympic rings.

In an important year for global democracy, the spirit of the games feels more important than ever.

As well as encouraging togetherness, respect and the importance of competition, the Olympics is also open to innovation.

Sports like croquet and tug-of-war have long since ceased to be Olympic sports, and you won’t be seeing some discontinued events either, including:

  • Standing high jump
  • Rope climb
  • Running deer shooting
  • Underwater swimming
  • Canoe marathon.

There will, though, be some new events this year. These are:

  • Skateboarding
  • Sport climbing
  • Surfing
  • Breakdancing

Having debuted at the 2020 Tokyo Games (held in July 2021), skateboarding becomes an official Olympic sport at this year’s event. And 15-year-old Sky Brown will be competing.

Sky Brown is among many Team GB medal hopefuls set to compete in Paris

The Olympics has a long history of launching young athletes into the spotlight.

Diver Tom Daley made his Olympic debut at the age of 14. The prize for the youngest ever gold medallist, though, goes to Marjorie Gestring who won three-metre springboard gold back in 1936, at the age of just 13.

This year’s Team GB medal hopefuls include youngsters and veterans alike. Here are seven of them.

1. Sky Brown – Skateboarding

Sky Brown made history when she won bronze in the skateboarding park event at the 2020 games, becoming Britain’s youngest-ever medallist in the process.

Brown arrives in Paris off the back of a win at the 2023 World Skateboarding Championship so hopes will be high.

2. Keely Hodgkinson and Laura Muir – Athletics

Among the British medal hopefuls on the track, Keely Hodgkinson is firmly among the favourites.

Hodgkinson beat Dame Kelly Holmes’ 26-year-old British record for the 800m in Tokyo three years ago. Her time of 1 minute 55 seconds was good enough for silver.

She could well go one better this time around.

Laura Muir finds herself in a very similar position. After winning silver in the 1,500m in Tokyo, all eyes will be on her in Paris.

3. Katie Archibald – Cycling

From Chris Boardman and Chris Hoy to Jason and Laura Kenny, the velodrome has been the venue for some of Team GB’s biggest recent successes.

Despite winning her first senior title back in 2013, Katie Archibald has yet to become a household name in the same way as some of her peers, despite winning gold alongside Kenny in the team pursuit at Rio 2016.

2023 saw Archibald hit with injury and the tragic loss of her partner. She ended the year with gold at the 2023 World Championships in Glasgow, again in the team pursuit, and will be looking to take that form into the Paris Games.

4. Bethany Shriever – BMX

Bethany Shriever helped to raise the profile of her sport in Tokyo when she won BMX gold.

She’ll go into this Olympics as a firm favourite and would love to take home back-to-back Olympic golds.

5. Helen Glover – Rowing

Helen Glover is no stranger to the Olympics. She’s back out of retirement (again) to compete in her fourth Olympics and her crew will be expected to perform well.

Glover is joined by Rebecca Shorten and two Olympic newbies Esme Booth and Sam Redgrave (no relation to rowing royalty Steve).

Rowing has long been a strong sport for Team GB so expect medal chances to come from elsewhere too, not least from the men’s eight. Tokyo bronze medallists Jacob Dawson, Charlie Elwes, and James Rudkin will form the backbone of the 2024 crew.

6. Adam Peaty – Swimming

With three Olympic gold medals and multiple world records already under his belt, Peaty is undoubtedly one of the best breaststroke swimmers of all time.

Peaty has recently spoken about his struggles with alcohol and depression but will be hoping to do his talking in the pool this summer.

If Peaty wins gold in the 100m breaststroke, he’ll complete the hat trick, having achieved the same feat in Tokyo and Rio.

Duncan Scott will also be one to watch in the pool, after winning four medals three years ago.

7. Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown – Triathlon

Yee won individual bronze in Tokyo and took home a gold in the team mixed relay.

As part of that gold-medal-winning team, Georgia Taylor-Brown also performed well in Tokyo, winning individual silver despite puncturing a tyre. She’s recently recovered from an injury and is sure to be one to watch.

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