France floats moving Olympics opening ceremony from river Seine over security threats

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France’s leader said Monday that the country has alternatives prepared if security threats require changing its plans for a spectacular opening ceremony to the Paris Olympics this summer.

The July 26 showpiece is set to be the first not to take place inside a stadium, with the ambitious ceremony to instead feature 160 boats setting off along the Seine as huge crowds line the river’s banks.

The French capital’s famous waterway will host a boat for each nation competing in the games, carrying a total of 10,500 athletes on a 3½-mile route through the heart of the city. Around 120 heads of state and senior government figures from around the world will also be there, the International Olympic Committee has said.

Such a plan comes with acute security risks, particularly for a major world event taking place amid the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East.