From the Paris region to Marseille, and even as far as Tahiti, the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games extend beyond the city of Paris. An overview of the main sites that thrill sports enthusiasts during the competitions.
To minimize the budget invested and carbon emissions, Paris 2024 focuses on existing infrastructures. Some of them have already proved their worth on several occasions during the hosting of other important events (sporting or otherwise).
One such place to be used is the Parc des Princes, the home football ground of Paris Saintt-Germain, another, Roland-Garros and its famous clay courts (for tennis, wheelchair tennis and sitting volleyball), and the Accor Arena (for basketball, wheelchair basketball, artistic gymnastics, trampoline). In the north of the city, between Porte de la Chapelle and Porte d’Aubervilliers, the Arena La Chapelle hosts badminton matches (able-bodied and disabled), rhythmic gymnastics and para-weightlifting. This 8,000-seat venue, eco-designed for the occasion has been especially thought out for the post-Games period, when it becomes a new major attraction in this part of the city. The challenge is to enhance the facilities available in Paris for hosting sporting events and shows.
It would be difficult to imagine the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games without some of the capital's finest places and monuments. Some of these sites are already full of history, others are waiting for history to be written by the athletes. The famous Place de la Concorde is THE spot for spectacular disciplines like skateboarding, BMX freestyle, breakdance and basketball (3x3). Nearby, fencing and taekwondo are showcased in the Grand Palais, whilst its temporary offspring the Grand Palais éphémère or Arena the Champ-de-Mars is the stage for wrestlers and other judokas.
Disciplines like swimming in open water, the marathon the para triathlon and cycling road have the Pont d’Iéna as a backdrop. Spectators only have to cross this bridge to watch the Paralympic football or beach volleyball matches. This ensures the show on the field but also around it, with the Eiffel Tower as a landmark. Just as symbolic, the Esplanade des Invalides is where archers demonstrate their accuracy.
One big celebration, that was one of the promises of Paris 2024, which extends beyond the competition venues. The Seine riverbanks is a perfect festive place for locals and fans from all over the world who come to share their emotions during shows, concerts, and events.
Easily accessible by public transport, other major venues for this 33rd Olympic Games energize an entire region, starting, of course, by the Stade de France. This stadium which has already hosted the Football World Cup and the Euro – in 1998, then in 2016 – and the World Championships in Athletics, in 2003 is once again the focus of the attention of the whole world in 2024; it welcomes certain key events (athletics, rugby).
Not far from here, and still in Saint-Denis, synchronized swimmers, divers, and water polo athletes (preliminary stages) are competing for medals at the Centre Aquatique. Another venue intended to benefit the local population, as of 2025, it is available to the public and schools to develop swimming activities. Spectators are able to attend other aquatic events (rowing, para-canoeing, etc.) at the water sports centre at Vaires-sur-Marne.
More to the west of Paris, the legendary stadium Yves-du-Manoir (Colombes) stages the field hockey events. A great nod to history and a full circle for this venue which hosted the Paris Olympic Games … in 1924! Still in the Hauts-de-Seine, the Paris La Défense Arena, inaugurated in 2017, offers a choice spectacle with the swimming events (races) as well as water polo finals. The region of Les Yvelines will also play an important part in the organization of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with its golf course, the Golf National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, its Velodrome National (track cycling, some modern pentathlon events, para-cycling etc.), and the Hill of Elancourt (mountain biking). Finally, some of the most beautiful images of this edition are expected from the Palace of Versailles. Several centuries after having been the residence of the kings of France, this other French icon is a formidable backdrop for equestrian sports (jumping, dressage, eventing, para-riding).
The men's and women's football matches create a buzz extending beyond the borders of the Paris region. The cities of Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Nice, Bordeaux, Nantes and Marseille are also Olympic sites in 2024. Several of them welcomed the Euro 2016 matches in their stadiums. The city of Marseille also hosts the sailing events, to admire from the temporary stands set up on the city’s stunning coastal cliffs. The best handball teams (men and women) are competing for the gold medal at the Pierre de Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, near Lille, just one hour by TGV from Paris. On the other side of the world, surfers gather at Teahupo’o (Tahiti) to test themselves against awesome and legendary waves. Excitement guaranteed!