Paris taps French stage director Jolly for Olympic opening

Category : Sports

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. appoint / əˈpɔɪnt / (v.) – to assign someone to a job or position

    Mr. Daniel has been appointed as the new school director.

  2. bring to life (something) / brɪŋ tu laɪf / (idiom) – to make something more real and exciting

    The stage actor’s performance brought to life my favorite book character.

  3. the next level / ðə nɛkst ˈlɛv əl / (idiom) – a better or more advanced and successful situation than before

    Thank you for working hard and helping the company achieve the next level.

  4. unprecedented / ʌnˈprɛs ɪˌdɛn tɪd / (adj.) – never done or experienced in the past

    The country recently experienced unprecedented cold weather.

  5. ideal / aɪˈdi əl / (n.) – a principle or standard to be aimed at or that is worth trying to achieve

    The speaker inspired the graduating class to continue working towards their ideals.


Read the text below.

Paris Olympic organizers appointed prize-winning French theater director Thomas Jolly to direct the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2024 Games and the Paralympics.

As artistic director, the 40-year-old Jolly will be tasked with bringing to life Paris’ ambitious plan to hold the July 26, 2024, opening ceremony in the French capital’s city center, along the Seine River, taking it out of the traditional Olympic Stadium setting for the first time.

Paris organizing committee head Tony Estanguet said Jolly “knows how to break norms and take them to the next level” and that he’ll “be able to imagine unprecedented artistic concepts” for the shows.

Estanguet also said the Place de la Concorde, the large central Paris square where King Louis XVI and others were executed during the French Revolution, is being considered as a venue for the Paralympic opening ceremony, which Jolly will also direct.

The closing ceremonies will be held at the Stade de France, the stadium that hosted the World Cup soccer final in 1998.

Paris organizers hope to have 600,000 spectators — most of them watching for free — lining the banks of the Seine for the Olympic opening, as the 10,500 athletes are paraded on barges along the river.

“By opening the Games to as many people as possible, Paris 2024 displays values which I fully recognize,” Jolly said in a statement from organizers. “The theater I advocate is also resolutely open because I am convinced that in our time, we need to project ourselves together towards common ideals.”

Jolly won a Moliere prize, France’s highest theater award, for directing in 2015.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The Paris Olympic organizers plan to hold the ceremony in the French capital’s city center, taking it out of the traditional Olympic Stadium setting for the first time. How do you feel about this break from tradition? Discuss.
  • Do you think Olympic fans will accept this break from tradition? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Paris organizers hope to have 600,000 spectators — most of them watching for free — at the Olympic opening. What do you think of this plan? Why do you think the organizers are doing this? Discuss.
  • Given the chance, would you want to attend the Paris Olympic games opening? Why or why not? Discuss.
Category : Sports