Paris Mayor Promises to Swim in Seine amid Concerns for Paris Olympics

To quell rising concerns about the safety level of the River Seine ahead of the Paris Olympics, the mayor of Paris has promised to take a dip herself to prove detractors wrong.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo spoke with France Inter radio on Wednesday, July 10, and revealed that she would “dive in next week” to swim in the Seine, which she also said would be “depolluted” by then, according to CNN.

Hidalgo has led a €1.4 billion plan to clean up the river ahead of the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics on July 26, and the mayor’s office said recent test results showed the Seine had acceptable levels of bacteria, CNN reported.

Two Olympic events — triathlon and marathon swimming — are currently scheduled to take place in the Seine, along with the opening ceremony, which will feature performances on vessels down the river.  

Seine river.

Getty


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In February, French President Emmanuel Macron promised — then played down his promise — to swim in the Seine in order to prove its safety, the Associated Press reported.

Swimming in the river has been mostly banned since 1923, according to the Associated Press. However, France plans to use its cityscape, including the river, to host several events throughout the upcoming 2024 Summer Games.

Seine river.

Getty


In addition to ensuring the safety of the Seine, Paris officials are also making sure that Olympic athletes are safe when they are not competing — specifically when they are being intimate.

Back in March, Olympic Village director Laurent Michaud revealed in an interview with Sky News that the 2024 Paris Games will have 300,000 condoms available for the 14,250 athletes staying in their quarters.

“It is very important that the conviviality here is something big,” Michaud told the U.K. outlet.

This hand-out reverses a policy for the 2020 Olympics. Although condoms were given out during the Tokyo Games, officials placed an intimacy ban on athletes due to the COVID pandemic. Olympians were asked to limit their physical contact with each other — including sex — and keep a distance of six and a half feet apart from others to stop the spread of the disease.

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