Paris Olympics organizers say swimming events still set for the cleaned-up Seine after heavy rains

FILE - Athletes dive and swim in the Seine River from the Alexander III bridge on the first leg of the women's triathlon test event for the Olympic Games in Paris, Aug. 17, 2023. In 2024. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Despite the complication of recent heavy rain, swimming in the River Seine is still the plan at the Paris Olympics after a $1.5 billion investment to improve the water quality.

“No reasons to doubt,” International Olympic Committee executive Christophe Dubi said Thursday at an online briefing after hearing from city officials and Summer Games organizers. “We are confident that we will swim in the Seine this summer.”

Marathon swimmers and triathletes are scheduled to plunge into the cleaned-up waters after the Olympics open July 26.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo have promised to take a dip and show their citizens and visiting athletes all is well.

Key to the cleaning up has been digging a huge reservoir next to Austerlitz train station to collect excess rainwater and prevent bacteria-laden waste entering the river.

Heavy rains that overwhelmed old sewers in Paris prevented some test events for the Olympics from taking place last August.

Organizers also have not been lucky with the weather so far this summer.

Those downpours have complicated the issue, Dubi acknowledged, though said the update Thursday was “very reassuring.”

In other Paris Olympics news — from 124 years ago — the IOC awarded France an extra medal Thursday from the 1900 Summer Games and took it from Britain.

The silver medal won by Lloyd Hildebrand in men's 25-kilometer cycling has now been credited to France because, the IOC executive board decided, “even though Hildebrand was a British citizen, he was born and brought up in France, and competed for a French club before and after Paris 1900.”


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