Paris Olympic Games organizers say preparations are 'on track'

The organizers of the Paris Olympic Games are running up against a deadline. They have one month to ensure everything is ready. They say their preparations are "on track."

The organizers are testing out the main venue for athletics, the Stade de France. They invited runners from the capital area to see if the surface meets expectations. They had to build a new metro station nearby to transport all the spectators. They chose Japanese architect Kuma Kengo, who used his signature element in his design: wood.

Workers are also busy putting the final touches on the venue for beach volleyball. They can look up to see the Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower.

The organizers say their venues are "coming to life." "We have one message to the world," said communications director Anne Descamps. "Get ready for Games like no others. Paris 2024 will be a date with history."

The organizers decided to hold some competitions away from stadiums. They have transformed a public square, la Place de la Concorde, into an open arena. They will use it to host skateboarding, BMX freestyle cycling, and the urban dance form known as "breaking," which is a new event.

Olympic officials are well aware visitors could arrive to a heat wave. They have installed 70 machines across the city to supply drinking water. They have built mist showers and shaded areas to protect people from the sun. "Having shade that everyone can use is such a good idea," said one woman.

The hosts will welcome millions of spectators to the first games since the pandemic. They have said the opening ceremony on July 26 will be certain to join the "most memorable moments" in Olympic history. They have planned for the athletes to parade not into a venue but on boats along the waters of the River Seine.