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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

Local Olympic Stars to Shine in the City of Lights this Summer

Peter Rainey
Novak Djokovic, Sophia Smith, Lebron James, Noah Lyles, and Aryana Sabalenka are some of the Olympians competing in Paris this summer.

It’s one of the most watched sporting events in the world, where the best of the best compete against each other. Rivals turned teammates try to win gold for their country. This year the 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be held in the city of lights, Paris. With stunning views, Paris is planning to hold popular sporting events in the most iconic parts of France. With the rarity of the games, Paris plans to make this one an unforgettable event.

The opening ceremony will be done like never before. Instead of the athletes walking into the Olympic stadium, this year the ceremony will be held on the Seine river, where athletes from each country will ride on their country’s boats toward the Eiffel Tower. Then the 5 Olympic rings will be lit on the Trocadéro Plaza symbolizing the beginning of the games. This is not the only unique thing happening in Paris. The prized medals that Olympic athletes receive are infused with a piece of metal from the Eiffel Tower.

Paris has some of the oldest and most beautiful architecture in the world, so it makes sense that they would want to showcase it along with the games. Equestrians will compete in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, a stunning home built for royalty where Marie Antoinette and Napoleon spent their time. Beach volleyball will be played under the Eiffel Tower, where a temporary stadium was built to capture the magical surroundings. Usually hosting art, fashion and automobile shows, fencing and taekwondo events will be held at the Grand Palais under the alluring glass roof. It has been under renovations in order to prepare for the arrival of the Olympic Games.

French teacher Madame Anderson has been teaching at West Potomac for 3 years. She loves teaching here and loves to share the knowledge she learned while she was in Paris for 2 years. Madame studied abroad and lived near the Eiffel Tower. In the 2 years she was there, Paris captivated her. “Paris is my favorite city, I love the neighborhoods, pastry shops and cafes,” Anderson said. She is fluent in the language, and knows some of the Parisians favorite spots.

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“It’s fun to see the touristy places, but you’re not going to see the real Paris when you go to the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. You’ll see the real Paris when you go to cafes and the little museums where not many tourists look to go.”

If you go to Paris for the Olympics or for other travel, try going to the Latin Quarter, where there are Roman ruins or The Cluny Museum beside Notre Dame, where there is art and artifacts. The Paris museum of history is in an old mansion that holds centuries of articles. The Museum of Carnival has art and also artifacts.

“Napoleon’s child’s room, you can see his crib and rattle. You can see how people lived back in the day,” Anderson added.

In Paris, athletes will be representing the USA, but more specifically Virginia. Grant Holloway from Chesapeake, Virginia won a silver medal in the 110m hurdles in the 2022 Tokyo Olympics, and a world champion in the hurdles while also talented in the long jump. Torri Huski is another native from Virginia. Huski went to Yorktown High School, and she won the championship for the 100m butterfly in 2022 and placed third in the 2023 championship. She placed fourth in the 2022 Tokyo Olympics. Noah Lyles is a sprinter in the mens 100s and 200s and he is ranked first in both. He is third in the world overall. Lyles went to Alexandria City High School where he won the 100m race at the US junior championships. 11 other Virginian natives competed in the 2022 winter Olympic Games, and likely more will qualify for this year’s games.

With so many exciting events taking place in some of the most popular places in Paris, concerns arise over the amount of security in the city. As a security precaution, the number of people allowed to view the ceremony has been cut in half, from 600,000 to now 300,000. Because the opening ceremony is taking place in a public place, people will have to register for tickets, so tourists and pedestrians will not be allowed to view the ceremony. The Olympics are meant to bring money and popularity to the hosting cities, but with so much publicity, permanent residents are irritated with tourists more than usual. The games will disturb their day to day life. Due to transportation and the increase of security, many Parisians plan to leave the city while the games are going on. Not all Parisians feel this way though. The head of the Paris Olympics Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet, said that the games would be “magical” and “worth the disruption.”

The Seine River is the heartbeat of Paris, so it’s great that they are using that. The Seine river is beautiful, but many locals rely on the river to make a living. Alongside the river many vendors set up shop, selling paintings, books, and other touristy things. Because of the opening ceremony on the river the coordinators are trying to close down people’s businesses because of safely concerns. Transportation and food prices are on the rise because of the high demand the Olympics brings.

“I think that this year’s Olympics will be the best one yet. They have so much creativity and they know how to show off Paris in the best possible way,” Anderson said.

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About the Contributor
Peter Rainey is a senior student in his third year of West Potomac Journalism. Along with writing, his other passions include hiking and graphic design. Rainey heads creative direction for West Potomac athletics and head-designed the official Class of 2023 logo last summer. Rainey looks forward to attending VCU Arts next  school year, minoring in Journalism.

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