Florida athletes to know with Paris Olympics 1 year away

1-year countdown starts on Wednesday

(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File) (Michel Euler, Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

It might just seem as if the Tokyo Summer Olympics ended in 2021, but already the 2024 Paris Olympics are in sight.

Wednesday marks exactly one year until the start of the Summer Olympics in Paris, France, which is set to host the games 100 years after last doing so in 1924.

With that in mind, here are some things to know as the 1-year countdown begins.

How will the Paris Olympics be different?

It won’t take long for Paris to do something no other host city has. For the opening ceremony, the city will transport athletes by boat along the Seine River during the traditional Parade of Nations.

The general public will be able to line adjacent streets, quays and bridges to view the parade.

Boats will go by relics such as the Louvre and Notre-Dame before ending at the Trocadero, which is across from the Eiffel Tower.

It is there where the remaining elements of the opening ceremony — such as speeches, the arrival of the torch and lighting of the flame — will take place.

It will be the first time the opening ceremony won’t be held in a traditional stadium. The closing ceremony will be held at a traditional stadium.

What local athletes should we start keeping an eye on?

It’s difficult to full gauge what athletes from the state to hone in on now, given qualifying for most events won’t take place until the first portion of 2024.

However, based on what’s been taking place since Tokyo, here are five good bets as of this moment from Florida.

  • Erriyon Knighton. A sprinter from Tampa, Knighton won the bronze medal in the 200 meters at last year’s World Championships, becoming the youngest-ever sprint medalist. Assuming he qualifies for the team, he would only be 20 years old in Paris.
  • Bobby Finke. Also a native of Tampa, Finke became a swimming star when he won gold medals in the 800 and 1,500 meters at the Tokyo Olympics. He’ll be 24 by the time the Paris games arrive and should be a key member of the U.S. team again.
  • Ana Zolotic. The Largo native made history in Tokyo at the age of 18, becoming the first American woman to win the gold medal in taekwondo.
  • Nelly and Jessica Korda. The sister tandem from Bradenton should once again be contenders in the golf event. Nelly won the gold medal in Tokyo, while Jessica was 15th.

How many athletes from Florida competed at the Tokyo Olympics?

Florida had the second-most athletes compete in Tokyo with 56. California had the most with 126. Texas was third with 32 athletes.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.