French basketball player Iliana Rupert holds the Olympic Torch next to Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet in Cannes. GETTY IMAGES

Tony Estanguet took on the role as president of Paris Olympics Organising Committee two years after leading the city's bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In an interview with Hindustan Times’ Faizal Khan while attending the Cannes Film Festival, the three-time gold medallist spoke of the city’s journey to host the upcoming Olympic Games. 

The slalom canoeist was also France's flag-bearer at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and had participated in the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012, so Estanguet is no stranger to the Games. When he took over as Paris 2024’s chief, he promised a spectacular event with people at the centre. Estanguet goes into detail about what makes this edition of the Games different from those that came before. 

"For the first time the opening ceremony will not be in a stadium, but in the city welcomed by hundreds of thousands of people. The idea is to showcase the best of France and we believe that the best platform to welcome the athletes of the world is not inside the stadium, but in the city. That is the signature of Paris 2024. There will be Games in the city, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Grand Palais and the Versailles Palace. All these iconic landmarks will be celebrated during the Games. From the opening ceremony onwards, the people will understand that it will not be the usual Games." Estanguet tells Khan.

The opening ceremony has been the subject of controversy, with security and environmental concerns. Preparations have been underway, with the city putting into place security measures and the necessary infrastructure to celebrate the inaugural festivities. Estanguet spoke of what’s in store for Olympic athletes, coaches and spectators. 

"It will be a show of around three hours, maybe a little more. It is a kind of parade of the athletes around the Seine river on 90 boats. We will do the parade on the Seine on a six-kilometre journey. The parade will cross Paris from East to West and finish in front of the Eiffel Tower. It is going to be very promising." he said. 

With just two months before the Games, the city of Paris has been showing just what it takes to organise the Olympic Games. Paris organisers are aiming for the most innovative Olympics to date, with special attention to technology and sustainability

"We started the journey ten years ago. It is definitely a mammoth task to deliver the Olympic Games. It has been a huge journey for all of us in France to be ready on time and offer one of the best celebrations of our country in front of billions of people around the world. I am proud of what has been done so far about innovations for Paris 2024." Estanguet spoke of the task.

Estanguet, who was in Cannes to oversee the arrival of the Olympic torch, also announced the official movie of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. French filmmakers Jules Naudet and Gédéon Naudet were selected by the International Olympic Committee to make the official movie of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

"We are proud to have the support of the Naudet brothers. Definitely they will be the ones who will tell the incredible story of Paris 2024." Estanguet said.