Paris Olympics in danger on account of excessive warmth, report warns

A new report published on Tuesday has warned about the dangers posed by extreme temperatures at the Paris Olympics.

The report titled “Rings of Fire: Heat Risks at the 2024 Paris Olympics,” was compiled by the British Association for Sustainable Sport and Frontrunners, an organization helping athletes engage in environmental issues.

Researchers consulted scientists and athletes during the process of compiling the report. 

‘Intense heat’ could have deadly consequences, report warns

“The next Olympics in Paris is now upon us, and notable cases of extreme heat undermining the health and enjoyment of sporting spectacles have only increased in the intervening years [since the Tokyo Olympics],” said the report.

It warned that “intense heat at the Paris Olympics in July-August 2024 could lead to competitors collapsing and in worst case scenarios dying during the Games.”

The report called for organizers to provide improved rehydration and cooling plans for athletes and fans to avoid the risk of heat stroke.

Separate concerns have also been raised about the status of the River Seine that passes through Paris. It is set to host a boat parade during the opening ceremony as well as triathlon and marathon swimming events, but heavy rain has led to strong currents and degraded the water quality.

Olympic torch arrives in France ahead of Paris Games

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Paris Olympics taking place during the height of summer

The Paris Olympics will run from July 26 to August 11 and will take place in what are usually the warmest months in the French capital.

Paris has been struck by a series of record heatwaves in recent years. Over 5,000 people died in France during last year’s summer when temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some parts, according to public health data.

“The fact that the Olympics will take place during high summer means that the threat of a devastating hot spell is a very real one,” it said.

British men’s rugby sevens player Jamie Farndale was among those warning of the dangers athletes could face: “What we do is push ourselves to our limits, and if we have to do so in conditions that are unsafe I don’t think the athlete would hold back.”

The organizers of this year’s Olympics say that have built flexibility into their schedules allowing some events such as the marathon or triathlon to be shifted to avoid midday heat when temperatures peak.

Is everyone welcome at the Paris Olympics?

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kb/rc (Reuters, AFP)