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Paris reopens Seine swimming after a century

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After a hundred years, the thrill of swimming in the River Seine is making a grand comeback in Paris! The city's authorities have announced an ambitious plan to open three designated swimming areas along the river in the French capital, that will open in 2025. Why and how? Well, let's dive into some history to answer all your questions!

Before we do, let us remind you that it is the year of the Summer Olympics 2024 in Paris, and for the first time in over a century, athletes will swim in the Seine River, showcasing Paris's efforts to revive its iconic waterway!

The historical legacy of Seine swimming

Serengeti National Park

Swimming and bathing in the River Seine held great popularity in the 19th century, becoming a cherished pastime for locals. However, escalating pollution levels in the early 20th century led to a ban on swimming in the river in 1923.

Reviving a century-old tradition

Serengeti National Park

Now, after a century-long hiatus, swimming in the River Seine is poised to make a triumphant return to the heart of Paris.

In recent times, a remarkable transformation has taken place, breathing new life into the Seine's water quality. This turnaround can be attributed to several key factors, including the establishment of advanced sewage treatment plants, a conscious reduction in industrial pollution, and an earnest effort to remove waste from the river's waterway.

The first step towards reclaiming the Seine as a swimming haven began in 2017, with the creation of Paris Plages - a seasonal swimming area nestled along the Seine's picturesque banks. Embracing a temporary setup, Paris Plages enchants visitors each summer with a generous 1,200-meter-long swimming pool, alongside inviting features like a beach volleyball court, a playground, and a delightful water park.

As anticipation builds for the 2024 Olympic Games, the return of Seine swimming stands as a testament to Paris's commitment to harmonious coexistence between its urban landscape and the pristine waters that flow through its very heart.

According to The Guardian, the chosen sites for these bathing zones will be located opposite the central Ile Saint-Louis in the city centre, by the Quai de Grenelle in the 15th arrondissement to the west, and at Bercy in the eastern 12th arrondissement.

With lifeguard supervision, changing rooms, and showers on site, swimmers can revel in a safe and enjoyable experience. Rigorous water filtration and treatment ensure optimal water quality.

A Triathlon milestone at the Paris 2024 Olympics

Serengeti National Park

The Paris Triathlon at the 2024 Summer Olympics is not just making a splash – it's making history! For the first time in over a hundred years, athletes will take a dip in the Seine, turning Paris's beloved, but long-underestimated, river into a stage for Olympic drama.

This bold move isn't just about taking the plunge; it's a testament to Paris's tireless efforts to give the Seine a much-needed makeover. Years of scrubbing and loving care have turned this once-murky waterway into an Olympic-worthy venue.

The swimming segment of the triathlon, set against a backdrop of Paris's famous landmarks, is going to be a unique and visually stunning experience for both athletes and spectators. Right in the centre of town, there’ll be swimming in the Seine, followed by bike and running routes that feature the Champs-Élysées before finishing on the Pont Alexandre III.

However, swimming in the Seine poses unique challenges. The river's currents and water quality, although greatly improved, will be different from the still waters of traditional pool swimming or the open sea conditions typical in triathlons. Athletes will need to adapt their training and strategies to navigate these distinctive conditions effectively!

Paris Reopens Seine Swimming