Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s Seine Swim Postponed After Heavy Rains in May

A planned swim in the Seine by French Mayor Anne Hidalgo that was scheduled for Sunday, June 23rd, will “probably be postponed,” local media is reporting after speaking to city officials.

“Due to the heavy rains in May and the very strong flow of the river, swimming on June 23 will probably be postponed ,” the City told AFP .

The city says that Hidalgo, along with police chief Laurent Nuñez and regional prefect Marc Guillaume, are now likely targeting a June 30 date for their swim, designed to prove that the river is safe for the four Olympic or Paralympic events scheduled to be competed there in the heart of the city.

The opening ceremony will see athletes on boats, while the open water swimming and the swimming portions of the Olympic triathlon and the Paralympic para-triathlon will be swum there as well.

Heavy rains in the month of May has resulted in a high water flows, which brings both dangerous currents and possible contaminants.

The French open water team with National Director of open water swimming Stéphane Lecat citing a “crazy current” rather than concerns over contamination as the reason. He said he is “not worried” about the venue’s availability for the Olympics, which is now about 10 weeks away.

Water flows have been four-to-five times faster than normal after the rainfall. Rainfall also brings untreated water from runoff, with an unusually-wet winter and lack of bacteria-killing sunshine all contributing to the water quality problems.

On June 1, a wastewater retention basin was installed to attempt to capture runoff and sewage water before it enters the Seine, giving officials the opportunity to treat it before it is released into the river. Samples have been taken daily upriver from the competition site at the Pont Alexandre III.

The tank is part of a 1.4 billion Euro ($1.5 billion) plan to clean up the Seine both for the Games and for the general public.

After the Olympics, in summer 2025, three swimming areas are supposed to be open to the public: the Bras Marie between the Marais and Ile Saint-Louis; the Quai de Bercy; and the Bras de Grenelle near the Eiffel Tower.

French President Emmanuel Macron also committed to swim in the Seine.

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1 month ago

I predict: BECAUSE there is NO plan B for seine swimming, the organizing committee will be forced to CANCEL all of the Seine River swimming events. So sad, really! Lovely alternatives ARE available, but stubborn Hidalgo and others just don’t want to play with reality.

1 month ago

IOC and World Aquatics should have forced the issue.

Genevieve Nnaji
1 month ago

Do they have plan B for open water and swimming portion of triathlon?

Spieker Pool Lap Swimmer
Reply to  Genevieve Nnaji
1 month ago


Personal Best
Reply to  Genevieve Nnaji
1 month ago

They will be replaced by the ‘open land’ running event, and the ‘walking portion’ of the triathlon.

1 month ago

I am close to individuals who represent USA Swimming as international OW officials and as far as they know there is no plan B. You would think it would be standard protocol to have alternate event locations – but one never knows when the IOC is involved. It would be heartbreaking if these athletes were not able to compete due to a gross lack of planning.

1 month ago

She saw the movie “under Paris” and freaked

1 month ago

Only got 4 words for her: “Suck It Up Princess”

1 month ago

Soooo is there really not a plan B? Even a sorta secret one (ie venue where they have hosted OW WC events in the past outside the city).

1 month ago

Does no one see the irony in this

Reply to  NUSwimFan
1 month ago

No, we all expected this to happen.

Reply to  NUSwimFan
1 month ago

I think everyone sees the irony in this.

I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
1 month ago

It is absolutely baffling that they do not have a plan B.

Reply to  I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
1 month ago

Of course they do.
They are just stalling

Reply to  I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
1 month ago

They are so devoted to looking like absolute idiots

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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