The Olympic Village inaugurated five months before Paris 2024. PARIS2024

Five months before the start of the thirty-third Olympic Games of the modern era and after seven years of construction, French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the Olympic Village in Saint-Denis.

After seven years of construction, the organisers of the Paris Olympic Games have taken possession of the Olympic Village. This gigantic site will be the epicentre of the Games in terms of accommodation for participants, and will be able to house almost 14,500 athletes and their staff. At an inauguration ceremony in the north of Paris, the head of the organising committee, Tony Estanguet, received a symbolic key to the complex in the presence of VIPs, including President Emmanuel Macron.

"This is proof that we have fulfilled our commitments," President Macron told the journalists present, telling the workers that they should be "proud" to have delivered the village "on time and on budget."

The organisers still have four months to complete their preparations, with more than 300,000 pieces of furniture and decorations to be installed before the first athletes arrive on 18 July. The village comprises some 82 buildings, 3,000 apartments and 7,200 rooms on a 52-hectare site between Saint-Denis, the island of Saint-Denis and Saint-Ouen, north of Paris.

The site consists of around 40 blocks of different low-rise towers and will include a 24-hour restaurant with almost 3,200 seats, serving 6 different culinary themes (Italian, Asian, French, etc.), a non-alcoholic bar, a leisure area and training facilities. The village will also have a grocery store, a police station, a beauty salon, a fitness centre, a post office and a multi-denominational worship centre. Transport will be provided by bicycles or electric shuttles that will run 24 hours a day, in line with the IOC's aim for the Games to be environmentally friendly.

A 3,000 m2 polyclinic, replacing the Dahnier School of Osteopathy, will also be available 24 hours a day for athletes to receive medical treatment, scans or MRIs.

The French government has contributed €646 million in public funds, with the rest coming from France's largest real estate companies, which have developed different areas of the 52-hectare site. After the Olympic and Paralympic Games, a third of the 2,800 apartments will be sold to private owners, a third will be used for social housing and the rest will be rented out, including to students. Each building is different, with distinct variations in design and façade colour, something typically European. "We wanted architectural diversity, which is a characteristic of European cities," Nicolas Ferrand, head of the infrastructure group at Solideo Group, told Macron.

Seine-Saint-Denis is the poorest and most crime-ridden area in mainland France and is the focus of public investment for the Games, with the opportunity to change and improve as a result of Olympic investment, as happened with the 1992 Barcelona Olympics with different neighbourhoods.