German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and France's President Emmanuel Macron. GETTY IMAGES

On 26 July, during the opening of the Paris Olympics,French authorities are expecting the presence of around 120 heads of state and government, which could set a record and generate intense diplomatic activity.

According to sources from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, around 160 ministers, mainly from Sports, are also anticipated to attend, making it an unprecedented event in the history of the Olympics due to the number of high-level delegations. Invitations for this ceremony are not the responsibility of the host country, in this case, France, but of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) along with the national Olympic committees.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron will receive the leaders present a few hours before the Olympic parade along the River Seine with the athletes, in a protocol ceremony at the Élysée Palace, allowing for informal meetings. Numerous bilateral meetings are expected, and Macron will take the opportunity to hold some of them. The day before, the French President will also host a summit organised jointly with the IOC on the future of sport in a more sustainable world, focusing particularly on youth.

Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with spectators next to his wife Brigitte Macron during the Olympic Flame arrival ceremony. GETTY IMAGES
Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with spectators next to his wife Brigitte Macron during the Olympic Flame arrival ceremony. GETTY IMAGES

Although it is still early to know how many delegations will attend this summit, which will likely be held at the Louvre, the participation of leaders of international organisations, including some from the sports sector, as well as several NGOs, is expected. French diplomatic sources highlighted the "boldness" of organising the Olympic opening ceremony on the stretch of the Seine that runs through the centre of Paris, for the first time outside a stadium.

It is anticipated that 320,000 spectators will attend along the riverbanks and in the adjacent streets and buildings, for which an unprecedented security operation will be deployed, including 45,000 members of the French security forces and 24,000 private agents, in addition to the 18,000 military personnel mobilised.

During these Olympic Games, France will receive help from around 45 countries, mostly European, who will send approximately 1,100 professionals to reinforce the security operation. It is common for police from other countries to be present at sporting competitions or other events, forming patrols that accompany French agents, who are the only ones authorised to intervene using force. In this case, France has requested additional teams of sniffer dogs trained in explosives detection and their handlers.

Regarding media coverage, around 30,000 accredited professionals are expected, along with about 6,000 unaccredited journalists, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who will also be covering the Olympic Games in France. Approximately 1.6 million foreign visitors are anticipated for the Olympics, representing around 10% of the total. The authorities have established a special system to facilitate the issuance of visas for countries that require them.