Menu Close

Prepare for the Summer Games with Factal

Paris City Hall with Paris 2024 Olympics banners and people in the plaza.

By Dave Clark and Joe Veyera

The Paris Olympics are quickly approaching, and Factal is gearing up to support our members around the clock. We’ve compiled this guide with a security outlook, travel preparations, Factal features and useful resources.

What we’ll be watching for during Paris 2024

As with any major global event, Factal editors will be closely monitoring the potential for disruptions throughout the Games, amid concerns over everything from cyber attacks and terrorism to protests and extreme weather. 

Paris’ cybersecurity teams have consulted with technicians who worked on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which saw its opening ceremonies disrupted by an attack Western nations have blamed on Russia’s military intelligence agency. Officials have acknowledged that such technical onslaughts are a given, but hope their “war games” preparations will prevent significant issues.  

Some have also raised concerns that a cyberattack could be accompanied by an act of terror, with an estimated 13 million visitors expected to descend on the Paris metropolitan area. In the wake of a March attack on a Moscow concert hall, France raised its national terrorist alert warning to its highest level, and plans to deploy more than 20,000 private security agents alongside approximately 45,000 military and police forces. 

The games will take place in the backdrop of the escalating war in Ukraine, where Russia has expanded the scale and scope of its offensive operations. 

“With France’s President Macron serving as one of the most verbally steadfast Ukrainian allies, space exists for the Kremlin to engage in provocation or symbolic escalation,” said Factal’s head of European coverage Alex Moore. 

While May Day marches were largely peaceful in the French capital — and notably smaller than last year amid heightened tensions over retirement-age hike — organizers have expressed concerns that demonstrations and labor strife could impact events. French authorities are often quick to shut down protests before they begin, but police have developed a reputation to be willing to use force, including tear gas, quickly against crowds of protesters. 

“Laborers on strike are also known to form protests to coincide with their strike actions, creating a situation in which potential transportation disruptions can be metastasized by the fact they will transform into unruly protests,” Moore said. 

A study published in December in the Npj Climate and Atmospheric Science journal warned of the risk of  record-breaking temperatures in late July and early August that would best the 2003 heatwave that left tens of thousands dead across the country. Though organizers say the athletes’ village will be at least 6.0 degrees Celsius lower than the outside temperature based on its geothermal cooling system and wind ventilation, the decision to build housing without air conditioning has some participating athletes worried about the impact the heat could have.

“France has endured progressively worsening wildfire seasons over the past couple of years, creating the possibility of smoke impacting events taking place in France’s south in places such as Nice, Marseille and Toulouse,” Moore said.

Additional security concerns 

Large mix of security personnel: Not only are French national and local forces working security for the Games, around 2,000 foreign military service members are augmenting those efforts. Additionally private guards and the security for participating nations will be involved.

Expect confusion if an incident occurs as multi-uniform events tend to have communication and hierarchy issues. Also, France is anticipating a shortage of security personnel in total, authorizing police in communities not impacted by the games to work as private security – this extends to civil servants as well. In total, 22,000 private security people will be working the Games.

US embassy and consulate offering limited services: US citizens in France for the Olympics will be the focus of the State Department during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Those in-country for non-Olympic reasons should complete all paperwork prior to July 25, 2024.

Overcrowding in urban core: Organizers are expecting 15 million visitors over the course of the event, and the opening ceremony will be quite the spectacle. Several routes will be closed along a 6-kilometer stretch along the River Seine well in advance of the event. This will have significant traffic and crowding impacts, channeling people towards the bridges that are open. Here’s the security zone from the French government’s interactive map:

Map of Paris highlighting security sectors and routes through various city arrondissements with marked points of interest.

Balconies and other structures downtown are at increased risk of collapse due to the combination of age and expected crowds. Crowd clusters at the access points to multi-zonal security-controlled areas will be targets for minor crimes and softer targets for potential terrorism.

Getting around the metro area: Transportation will be significantly impacted, not only for the opening ceremonies, but the marathon, road bicycle racing and the closing ceremony. While the Olympics will conclude on Aug. 11, the Paralympic Games will run from Aug. 28 to Sep. 8.

All travelers to the area should be familiar with the Games Pass. This QR Code for access to neighborhoods near Olympics events will be required for people without tickets who may want to shop, dine or visit the area. The Games Pass website also will let you know when the limitations on motorized or pedestrian transit are in place.

Preparing for travel: OSAC’s country report and the UK’s Foreign Office report provide a comprehensive look at travel risks in France. Some visitors may need to apply for a visa in advance. Be prepared to show the right documentation upon arrival.

How Factal has you covered for the Olympics

Verified alerting: We’ve expanded our local French sourcing and ramped up the sensitivity of our event detection. Editors will be paying close attention to events in and around the Games as part of our core service. The Factal map also includes live weather, traffic and road closures, in addition to our real-time coverage.

Map of Paris showing weather and traffic

Factal app: The most powerful travel and breaking news app on the market, the Factal app is a perfect companion for travelers and locals alike who want to see what’s happening around them as they navigate the Olympics. It can be distributed on an unlimited basis for no additional fee.

Incident chat: We’ll be activating an incident chat for Factal members with people on the ground to share information via the Factal app and

Risk insights: Our recently-launched topic insights product provides a snapshot of recent events for any region, country and major city in the world. See trends, common incidents and even the most-cited local sources for cities like Paris, Lyon and Marseille as well as France as a whole.

Event locations: We’ve made it easy to add the Olympics venues to your location assets, so you’re notified if anything happens in proximity. Let your member success manager know.

Map of Paris and surroundings with Olympics sites featured.

Paris 2024 sites in and around Paris. Other cities are hosting soccer and Tahiti is hosting surfing.

Global Security Briefing: Every two weeks, Factal editors and Emergent Risk International analysts co-host an hour-long security briefing, and the Olympics is becoming a frequent topic. This is a free event, and you can register here.

Don’t have access to Factal’s decision-ready risk intelligence?

Contact us for a personalized demo, and we can show you how Factal can help for the Olympics and beyond.

Top photo: Paris 2024, Olympics preparation, by Conall (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Factal gives companies the facts they need in real time to protect people, avoid disruptions and drive automation when the unexpected happens.

Try Factal for free or talk with our sales team ( for a demo.