Paris 2024: Official opening of the Olympic Aquatics Centre. GETTY IMAGES

The President of the French Republic inaugurated the Seine-Saint-Denis Olympic Aquatics Centre in the city of Saint-Denis, next to the Porte de la Chapelle Arena, which was built specifically for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The new Paris 2024 Aquatics Centre was inaugurated by the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron, and the President of Paris 2024, former canoeist Tony Estanguet.

Located in Seine-Saint-Denis, in the city of Saint-Denis, the venue will host diving, synchronised swimming and water polo classification events. Costing 188 million euros, it is an innovative building in terms of both its design and its ecological components.

"It is a great emotion to receive the keys to the Olympic Aquatics Centre. We're proud to see these magnificent facilities, and what's more, one month ahead of schedule," said Estanguet, President of the Organising Committee.

President Macron expressed his pride at the inauguration of the venue and said that the legacy will benefit not only the athletes, but the entire population.

"We want to welcome the world, we want our athletes to win many medals and we want it all to be a source of incredible pride for France, but we also want these facilities to last, just like the Olympic and Paralympic Village. For us, this is one of the great elements of legacy," said the French President.

After inaugurating the Aquatics Centre, a wooden building that resembles a wave rising next to the Stade de France, the French President declared: "It is proof that France knows how to honour its commitments.

This is the largest piece of sports infrastructure to be built by the organisers, who boast that 95% of it was already in place when Paris was awarded the 2024 Games.

Macron claimed that the building was an example of France "delivering infrastructure on time and on budget" despite the Covidien crisis, the war in Ukraine and inflation, and invited comparisons with "budget overruns" at previous Olympic Games.

The Aquatics Centre has what its architects claim is the largest convex wooden roof in the world and will seat 5,000 spectators. It will be the largest swimming pool in France and will enable the country to host the European Swimming Championships in 2026.

Its distinctive profile will be one of the most striking features of the Games, drawing on existing infrastructure, starting with the neighbouring Stade de France in Saint Denis, where the main athletics events will be held.

A 100-metre pedestrian bridge over the motorway will allow pedestrians to move between the two centres, adding significantly to the budget. However, Macron made it clear that the budget would not be exceeded, thanks to the decision taken four years ago to change the venue for the swimming events.

Originally planned to be held in a temporary tent next to the Aquatics Centre, it was decided to hold them in the Arena de La Defense, Racing 92's indoor stadium, due to cost concerns.

Emmanuel Macron and Tony Estanguet at the inauguration of the Olympic Aquatics Centre. GETTY IMAGES
Emmanuel Macron and Tony Estanguet at the inauguration of the Olympic Aquatics Centre. GETTY IMAGES

The Aquatics Centre has a fully modifiable 70-metre pool, which will be divided into two pools for synchronised swimming and diving during the Olympic Games.

For the environment, the seats are made from recycled bottle caps, and the arena building has been designed to limit energy consumption thanks to its 5,000 square metres of photovoltaic panels and a biomass-based heating and cooling system that uses heat generated by servers in an adjacent data centre to reduce energy consumption.

It's important to note that swimming has been an integral part of every modern Olympic Games since 1896, and women have been able to compete since 1912, when Stockholm was the only city to host the Games.

The exciting Olympic swimming events at Paris 2024 will take place from 27 July to 4 August. A total of 35 events will take place: 17 men's, 17 women's and one mixed relay.