As the Paris Olympics promise new ambitions, old fears are intensifying

“We are preparing for all scenarios,” he said. “We must be humble and innovative to meet all challenges.”

Collomb, for example, said organizers would recruit thousands of security guards to supplement the police force. The former will be responsible for securing the venues, while the latter will be used in public spaces.

Still, doubts have been raised about the level of preparation following a chaotic Champions League soccer final near Paris just months ago. Rising inflation could increase the price of the games. And official auditors are preparing to release a report later this year which, according to reports in French news media, suggested in early drafts that the pace of preparations was slow and budgeting for the Games’ “significant security challenge” ill-defined .

The report, for example, suggested reducing the number of boats taking part in the opening ceremony and said that “any poorly managed event occurring during the Olympic period that endangers the safety of citizens and visitors” would “not tarnish”. not just the image of the games, but also that of France on the international stage.”

Then there is the French tradition of strikes and other work stoppages. Thobois said organizers had been working closely with unions on a pact to avoid the games becoming a bargaining chip, knowing that part of the chaos surrounding the Champions League game in May was the result of a crippling strike on one of the main commuter rails in the city was on game day. These lines carry millions of people through Paris every day and are an important part of the Games’ logistics and transportation plans.

“We are not completely safe from a similar disruption,” said Marc Pélissier, president of an association of public transport users in the Paris region.

Of course, the Games are almost two years away, a point organizers have repeatedly pointed out this week in response to questions from international reporters on everything from hotel accommodation to internet access and transportation around the bustling metropolis.

“We have thousands of problems to solve every day,” said Thobois.

But, he added, “Our biggest challenge is to keep the ambition alive, to keep the dream alive, to allow people to be part of it and to go beyond the difficulties to keep the ambition.”

Aurelien Breeden contributed the reporting.