By Amelia Fisher-Starzynski, Paris, France, June 16, 2017: On the 23rd and 24th of June, the heart of Paris will be transformed into a gigantic sports park (Paris Olympic Park) to celebrate Olympic Day and support the city’s candidature for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The event, planned on an unprecedented scale, will offer Parisians and visitors to the city a taste of what is to come should Paris be chosen as Host City by the IOC on 13 September in Lima.
Olympic Day marks the occasion on 23 June 1894, when Baron Pierre de Coubertin established the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Sorbonne in Paris, opening up a new era for the Olympic Games.
The day is an opportunity to introduce sport and the Olympic values to people of all ages, nations and abilities, encouraging people to get active and discover new sports through sporting, cultural and educational activities.
This year, Paris will take its Olympic Day celebrations to a new level. For two days, the public will have the chance to share their passion for sport in the largest sports park ever designed in the heart of a city.
Stretching from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame along the River Seine, the giant celebration zone will offer the chance to sample more than 30 disciplines against the spectacular backdrop of Paris’ iconic landmarks.
A floating athletics track on the Seine, sports fields on the lawn of Les Invalides, trampolines in the Petit Palais, a high diving board on Pont Alexander III, a cycle track in Paris city centre, and a climbing wall on the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, will be on display among other attractions.
On Friday 23rd, up to 300 kayakers, led by Paris 2024 Co-Chair and triple Olympic canoe champion Tony Estanguet, will form a giant flotilla, which will travel along the Seine to the floating athletics track where Estanguet will join the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, Denis Masseglia, and all bid partners to inaugurate the two days.
On Saturday 24th, thousands of professional and amateur athletes will gather to take part in “2,024 km for Paris”. The event involves cyclists at the Place de la Concorde (527 km), equestrian riders from Versailles (20 km) and runners from the each of the four corners of Paris (1.477 km), converging on Les Invalides for the grand finale in the colours of the candidature.
Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said:
“On the 23rd and 24th of June, Paris will transform into a gigantic sports park and live site to celebrate the values of Olympism in the spirit of celebration and joy.
Six large areas in the heart of the city, accessible to Parisians and visitors alike, will allow people to move, learn and discover Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.
Linking the Rives de Seine riverside park, the river and its canals, these two days will demonstrate once again that Paris is ready to share its love of sport and its enthusiasm to host the Games in 2024.”
Paris 2024 Co-Chair, Tony Estanguet, said:
“Olympic Day is a special day in France. Every year it offers the chance to celebrate Olympism and its values with people of all ages but in particular with the youth.
This year, our two-day celebration will be an opportunity to share our passion for the Games, to demonstrate the commitment of our nation behind Paris 2024 and to unveil to the world our vision for a spectacular celebration zone – Paris Olympic Park – which will be the jewel in the crown of the 2024 Games”.
President of the CNOSF, Denis Masseglia, said:
“Every year on this anniversary, the CNOSF honours the birth of the International Olympic Committee as part of its Olympic Day celebrations.
In 2017, this anniversary will take on special significance as we support Paris’ candidature for the 2024 Games. While Paris will be at the centre of this Olympic Day, with an unprecedented and spectacular event planned, it is truly the whole of France that mobilises to celebrate the values of Olympism and to support the candidacy.”
French Minister of Sport, Laura Flessel, said:
“All of France is mobilised behind the candidature of Paris 2024. Olympic Day will be a unique opportunity for the people of France to sample the spectacle and magic of Paris Olympic Park.
Our European neighbours have recently given their support to Paris 2024 through the EU Council of Ministers of Sport and the European Parliament. I am positive that this day will help unite the world behind our bid as they witness the enthusiasm of our country for the Games.”
President of the Ile-de-France Region, Valerie Pécresse, added:
“Excellence, respect, friendship, dialogue, tolerance and fair play…these are the Olympic values that we wish to celebrate in Paris and the Ile de France region.
On the 23rd and 24th of June we will become an even more open, festive and attractive region. Strengthening the role of sport in our society is a driving force behind our bid and will be a key pillar of this exceptional Olympic Day event.”
President of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee, Emmanuelle Assmann, said:
“It is together and united that we will celebrate this Olympic Day. Reinforced by the mobilisation for the candidature of Paris 2024, we remain fully committed to using sport as a catalyst to inspire social development and integration in our wonderful and diverse society.”
Media wishing to accredit for this event should register with the City of Paris by completing the online accreditation form via this link.
A full media programme will be on offer including a media working area in the Rives de Seine riverside park, in the heart of the celebration zone.