Paris is a leading sporting destination, staging major international championships and events each year
Although Paris is the city of culture, the arts, elegance, fashion and gastronomy, it also stands out as a great sporting metropolis, playing host every year to major competitions and international events. Whatever your passion, Paris has it all. And whatever your favourite sport may be, Paris offers you the chance to enjoy the thrill of sporting events at its world-renowned stadiums and arenas.
‘It is 100 years since the Games were last held in Paris, and today marks a fantastic and very special moment. This is the outcome of a journey that has seen our entire team assemble an innovative Games plan. I am very proud and very moved to be bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to Paris.’ These are the words of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo1. The City of Lights is preparing to rekindle the Olympic flame. In 2024, Paris will host the XXIII Olympic Games (2 to 18 August) and Paralympic Games (4 to 15 September), having previously hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympics. The year is highly symbolic, as it marks exactly a century since the last Games in Paris. The 2024 event will involve iconic Paris attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, the Château de Versailles and the Grand Palais. Paris is known as a capital of art, culture, fashion and gastronomy, but – as a leading sporting destination, staging major international championships and events each year – it is also a perfect setting for these historic Games. If you have a favourite sport, you can play it in Paris. If you have a favourite team, you can support them in Paris, at exciting fixtures in the city’s legendary, world-class venues.
These Games belong to Paris!
206 countries; 10,500 athletes; 500,000 tourists expected to attend. 40 sports, both classic (fencing, swimming, judo, gymnastics etc.) and new (billiards; boules). 36 Olympic venues, including 10 in Paris proper: historic sites that are part of Paris’s unique heritage. The Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower, emblematic venues where events of national significance are held, will function as a Live Site providing live coverage of the games. They will also host the beach volleyball, boccia, triathlon and open-water swimming events. The Grand Palais, originally designed by a group of architects for the 1900 Universal Exhibition (the same year as the very first Paris Olympics), will host the Olympic fencing and taekwondo events and the Paralympic wheelchair fencing. Various other central Paris sites are hosting Olympic events: archery at the Esplanade des Invalides, handball and table tennis at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles (Europe’s biggest trade fair grounds, with a total area of 228,000 m2), weightlifting at the Grande Halle de la Villette (a listed monument), and boxing at the legendary Zénith concert hall.
For residents of the Paris region (Ile-de-France), the 2024 Games herald a visible and enduring transformation of the French capital and its environs. They will entail the creation of three vast infrastructure projects: the Olympic and Paralympic Village (Saint-Denis), the Media Village (Le Bourget) and an aquatics centre in Saint-Denis. Other Ile-de-France départements will also be hosting events: Yvelines (the golf course and the velodrome), Hauts-de-Seine (field hockey at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir; gymnastics and weightlifting at the U Arena), and Seine et Marne (the Vairessur-Marne water sports centre).
Two renowned venues – the Stade de France and the Parc des Princes – host major league matches. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the Stade de France in northern Paris looks like a huge flying saucer. This is where the French national team plays its most important home matches. The stadium acquired the status of a national monument after France beat Brazil to win the 1998 World Cup. It is also the world’s largest modular stadium, with a lower seating bowl that can be retracted to reveal the athletics track. Located less than 2 kilometres from the Olympic and Paralympic Village, the Stade de France will host the athletics competitions as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Then there is the Parc des Princes, a huge oval venue in the 16th arrondissement, right in the heart of the city. The home stadium of Paris Saint Germain, it hosts Europe’s top clubs each year during the prestigious Champions League. A sizzling atmosphere reigns here on match days. This historical venue is one of Europe’s most famous stadiums. As such, it will host the finals of the men’s and women’s football in 2024.
Can’t make it to a PSG or French national team match? Then take a guided backstage tour of the Stade de France or the Parc des Princes. Experience the spine-tingling magic of these legendary venues as you retrace the footsteps of some of the greatest names in French sport. Explore the locker rooms used by the likes of Zinédine Zidane, Lilian Thuram, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and walk through the players’ tunnel out onto the pitch.
- Stade de France. Zac du Cornillon Nord 93200 Saint-Denis. RER B (station: La Plaine de France), RER D (station: Stade de France-Saint Denis), M° Saint-Denis Porte de Paris. www.stadedefrance.com/en/tours
- Parc des Princes. 24 rue du Commandant Guillbaud, Paris 16th. M° Porte d’Auteuil or Porte de Saint Cloud. www.psg.fr
Paris hosts two of the top international tennis events. Each year from end May to early June, the thwack of tennis balls can be heard on the ochre clay courts of Roland Garros as the French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, gets underway. Built in 1927 to host the Davis Cup final, the stadium has since become one of the most prestigious venues on the world tennis scene, hosting both men’s and women’s tournaments. It has two vast courts – the central court, Philippe Chatrier, and the Suzanne Lenglen court, with capacity for 15,000 and 10,000 spectators respectively.
Tennis legends such as Borg, Lendl, McEnroe, Noah, Federer, Nadal, Evert-Lloyd, Graf, Navratilova and Serena Williams have featured in the history of the French Open, which draws hundreds of thousands of spectators each year to the stadium’s one-of-a-kind atmosphere. A trip to Roland Garros is more than a guarantee of watching spectacular tennis matches and feats by top players. Strolling through the pathways of the stadium is a uniquely Parisian experience, and an opportunity to rub shoulders with the city’s stylish elite. Shops, a restaurant, a tennis museum and the thrill of autograph hunting outside the locker rooms give a visit added interest. A major renovation project is underway to modernize and expand the site to an area of more than 11 hectares by 2021. The new-look Roland Garros will have an additional court accommodating 5,000 spectators (Court des Serres), while the Philippe-Chatrier court will be equipped with a roof that can be retracted in less than 15 minutes. Overall, it will be a high-tech setting in which Paris’s legendary tennis history can continue to unfold, with a special and keenly-awaited chapter to be written during the 2024 Olympic Games.
Every year in November, the AccorHotels Arena in Bercy hosts the Masters 1000, the final tournament of the season, where the cream of men’s tennis locks horns 15 days before another endof-season event in London. The Paris event is a favourite with the world’s top-seeded players. With its frenzied atmosphere and a passionate, demanding and excitable public, the tournament is known to be one of the most gruelling ones on the circuit. If you enjoy spectacular tennis and high drama, then this event is a must-do.
This sports arena with capacity for 20,000 spectators also hosts concerts and many other top-level sporting events – more than 130 events per year. It was recently renovated and modernized, and now features among the world’s top five arenas, alongside Madison Square Garden, the O2, the Staples Center and the Mercedes-Benz Arena. It is definitely worth visiting. Echoing the AccorHotels Arena, a brand-new, 7,500-seat multi-sport stadium called Arena 2 is one of the new permanent sites being constructed for the Olympic Games. It will also be used by a number of Paris sports clubs and federations.
- Stade Roland Garros 2 avenue Gordon Bennett, Paris 16th – M° Porte d’Auteuil – www.fft.fr/rolandgarros
- AccorHotels Arena 8 boulevard de Bercy, Paris 12th – M° Bercy / RER Gare de Lyon, Bibliothèque François Mitterrand – www.accorhotelsarena.com
- Paris Arena II (Paralympic wrestling, basketball and football). Building site: Porte de la Chapelle – Gare des Mines, Paris 18th.
Rugby does not only thrive in south-west France. It is also an integral part of Paris’s sporting identity. The city’s venerable rugby union club, Stade Français, plays in the Top 14 league (the top tier in French rugby). Its home stadium Jean Bouin, located right next to the Parc des Princes, boasts superb and very innovative architecture following a renovation a few years ago by the architect Rudy Ricciotti. And every year, the Stade de France hosts fixtures of the historic Six Nations championship, with England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy taking on the French national team. There is nothing quite like hearing the crowd roar as a player unleashes a tackle on an opponent or a solitary winger runs with the ball. Because Paris has so many rugby fans, Stade Français play some of their bigger matches in the larger-capacity Stade de France, which can accommodate up to 80,000 fans – who flock here to celebrate their passion for the game in a friendly, festive atmosphere.
The October 2017 inauguration of the U Arena, the largest multi-use stadium in Europe and the second-largest in the world, has given rugby a supersize venue. The home stadium of the Racing Metro 92 rugby team, it is located in the heart of Paris’s business district, La Défense. The ambitious U Arena project has been designed by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc. A stadium and concert venue in one, the U Arena amphitheatre has capacity for 30,000 spectators in its rugby configuration. The stadium seats up to 40,000 concertgoers and boasts a 1,600-m2 screen (the world’s biggest). It will host the gymnastics events at the 2024 Olympic Games.
Fans keen to buy a souvenir to take home will find plenty of choice at the MisteRugby shop.
- Stade Jean Bouin: 20-40, avenue du Général-Sarrail, Paris 16th. M° Porte d’Auteuil or Porte de Saint Cloud. www.stade.fr
- U Arena: 99 Jardins de l’Arche, 92000 Nanterre. www.uarena.com
- MisteRugby: 40 rue Saint-Jacques, Paris 5th – www.misterugby.com
Paris is the place to watch the finish of the world’s greatest cycling race – the Tour de France. After their gruelling climb across the high passes of the Alps and the Pyrénées, the dogged riders sprint several laps around the Champs Elysées in the now-iconic final stage. The ceremonial procession around the most beautiful monuments in Paris (the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower) is an amazing show. In a nod to the famous race, it’s likely the Olympic cycling event will finish at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, after a timed race in the heart of Paris. One can just imagine the cyclists speeding through the streets and boulevards of the capital along a route studded with jewels of Paris’s architectural heritage.
- Arrival of the Tour de France: www.letour.fr
Paris offers plenty of opportunities to back a horse and get caught up in the excitement of a race. Watch with bated breath as your chosen horse and jockey thunder past on the racecourse – at Auteuil, Longchamp, Vincennes or Chantilly. Each of the three Paris racecourses organizes a specific type of race, and these events are internationally renowned (harness racing at Vincennes, steeplechasing at Auteuil and gallops at Longchamp). Paris has a long-standing tradition of horse racing dating back over a century, and the key events on the calendar (Prix d’Amérique, Grand steeple chase, Prix du Président de la République etc.) are extremely popular with enthusiasts as well as the merely curious. The Longchamp racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne, which traditionally hosts the biggest and most famous race in the world, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is currently being redeveloped and will reopen in April 2018. The renewal of the course and facilities (including digital) by the architect Dominique Perrault will make Longchamp a more functional place for current-day racegoers and enhance its international prestige and attractiveness. The Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is watched by nearly one billion people worldwide. Stylishly attired men and women in eye-catching ensembles and hats give the event an absolutely unique atmosphere.
If you can’t attend the most exceptional events on the racing calendar, never fear: you can experience the excitement of a horse race practically every day of the week at one Paris racecourse or another. The Vincennes racecourse, for example: inaugurated in 1863, it can accommodate up to 35,000 people. It hosts the biggest harness races (more than a thousand races each year), including the prestigious Prix d’Amérique. If you don’t care for horse racing, but your children love horses, take a look at the Vincennes events calendar: the evening activities and ‘Super Sunday’ events make for a great family outing. The restaurant has a panoramic view, so you can have dinner while enjoying the spectacle of horses galloping around the racetrack.
- Hippodrome de Longchamp. 2 route des Tribunes – Paris 16th – M° Porte Maillot or Pont de Neuilly – www.nouveaulongchamp.com
- Hippodrome de Vincennes. 2 route de la Ferme – Paris 12th – M° Château de Vincennes – www.vincennes-hippodrome.com and www.vincennes-hippodrome.com/fr/evenements/
- Hippodrome d’Auteuil. Route d’Auteuil aux Lacs, Paris 16th – M° Porte d’Auteuil – www.francegalop.com/fr/hippodromeauteuil
- Hippodrome de Chantilly, Avenue de la Plaine des Aigles, 60500 Chantilly – www.francegalop.com/fr/hippodromechantilly
Stade Français Paris Rugby, Paris Volley, Paris Saint-Germain Handball, Paris Judo: Paris’s professional sports clubs always offer supporters a memorable experience, hosting exciting tournaments at which emotions run high. The city’s football club Paris-Saint-Germain (the French football champion and reigning French League Cup winner), has gained international renown since it was founded in 1970.
- Paris Saint-Germain Handball – Sport: handball – Level: Division 1 – Club HQ: 82 avenue Georges Lafont, Paris 16th – Tel. +33 (0) 1 40 50 99 13 – www.psg.fr – Match venues: Stade Pierre de Coubertin – 82 avenue Georges Lafont, Paris 16th – Metro Porte de Saint-Cloud / Halle Georges Carpentier – 81 boulevard Masséna, Paris 13th – Metro and T3 Porte de Choisy
- Paris Saint-Germain – Sport: football – Level: Division 1 – Club HQ: 24 rue du Commandant Guilbaud, Paris 16th – Tel. +33 (0) 1 47 43 71 71 – www.psg.fr – Match venue: Parc des Princes, Paris 16th – Metro Porte de Saint-Cloud
- Stade français Paris – Sport: rugby – Level: top 14 – Club HQ: 26 avenue du Général Sarrail, Paris 16th – Tel. +33 (0) 1 40 71 71 00 – www.stade.fr – Match venue: Stade Jean Bouin – 26 avenue du Général Sarrail, Paris 16th – Metro Porte d’Auteuil, Michel Ange Molitor, Exelmans, Porte de Saint Cloud
- Paris Volley – Sport: volleyball – Level: pro A – Club HQ: 17 avenue Pierre de Coubertin, Paris 13th – Tel. +33 (0) 1 49 70 65 43 – www.parisvolley.com – Match venue: Salle Pierre Charpy – Stade Charléty – 17 avenue Pierre de Coubertin, Paris 13th – RER Cité Universitaire / T3 Stade Charléty
Pedal, skate, walk … take a breather!
Why not combine sport and sightseeing in Paris? Running, cycling and skating are excellent alternative ways to explore the city: you’ll get off the beaten track and stumble upon hidden corners of the French capital. Set off to discover the Paris of Parisians as you travel the city’s districts, squares, and streets under your own steam.
There are neighbourhood sporting facilities throughout the French capital (outdoor gyms, small football pitches, table tennis, street basketball, fitness trails, swimming pools etc.) – so much so that by the time the 2024 Olympic Games come around, all Parisians will have a cost-free way to get fit within 5 minutes’ distance of where they live! The best-known outdoor fitness trail is the one on Ile aux Cygnes, in the 16th arrondissement. Famous for its 16-metre-high replica of the Statue of Liberty, this artificial island created in 1827 in the middle of the Seine is one long greenery-lined stretch with a selection of muscle-building equipment, a climbing wall and a children’s play area – a relaxed way for the whole family to get some outdoor exercise!
If you enjoy running, you’ll find it’s a great way to admire the beauty and variety of Paris parks and gardens. Go for a run from the Louvre via the obelisk in Place de la Concorde to the Jardin des Tuileries; jog around the French-style gardens at the ‘Luco’, as Parisians call the Luxembourg gardens behind the Palais du Sénat; explore the hilly slopes, hanging bridge, caves and waterfalls at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, and admire the magnificent trees and green spaces in the Parc Monceau and the Parc Montsouris.
If you’re a competitive runner, or simply wish to set yourself a challenge, Paris hosts the queen of races – the marathon – every year in April. Classed among the top five races, alongside the New York, London, Berlin and Chicago marathons, the Paris marathon is one of the most prestigious races in the world. Created in 1976, it now draws more than 50,000 participants, who run a distance of 42.195 km through the capital’s historic streets (Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Rue de Rivoli, Place de la Bastille etc.) and forest trails (in the Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne) to get to the finish line at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe. The Paris half-marathon in March and the famous Paris-Versailles race (16 km, from the Eiffel Tower to the chateau of the Sun King in September each year – reputed to be a tough course, with a substantial climb up the Côte des Gardes), are also good ways to visit the city or to do practice runs for the Paris marathon. Several 10K races are also organized in most Paris arrondissements, so you can run all year round while exploring every district of the city.
- Official website of the Paris marathon: http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/fr
- Website of the Paris half-marathon: http://www.fitbitsemideparis.com/fr
- Website of the Paris-Versailles race: http://www.parisversailles.com/
- Paris race and running news: http://www.parisrunningtour.com/
- Paris parks and gardens: www.paris.fr
If you enjoy cycling, Paris has hundreds of kilometres of cycling paths, so you can explore every inch of the city. With 1,800 docking stations dotted around the city, the self-service ‘Velib’ bike rental scheme lets you easily find a bike anytime you need one. As of 2018, 10 years after it was first launched, Vélib has been replaced by a newer, more efficient system. More lightweight, modern bikes – 30% of them are electric-assist models – now make up the Vélib fleet. All the more reason to hire a cycle to explore lesser-known parts of Paris. If you’re up for some climbing, pedal your way to Belleville and take the Rue Piat (20th). You’ll be rewarded by one of the most spectacular (and least-known) views of Paris, with the city’s monuments spread out beneath your gaze. If you’d rather ride a flat stretch, cycle alongside the Canal Saint-Martin. Pass the Hôtel du Nord, where Arletty played her famous scene in the eponymous French film, then continue on to the vast expanse of the Parc de la Villette. For some fast riding, head to the Bois de Boulogne or the Bois de Vincennes, where you’ll find hundreds of determined and enthusiastic amateur cyclists training every day amid the trees, far from the traffic and bustle of the city.
If you’d simply like to go on a bike tour with a friendly group of people, the association Paris Rando Vélo organizes night-time rides on Fridays and daytime rides on Sundays: a great way to explore Paris in all safety, at a moderate pace.
If you enjoy skating, the pedestrianized quays of the Seine are ideal spots for rollerblading. If you want to skate with a group, or get a free lesson, join one of the outings organized by Roller Squad Institut on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Anyone can take part. The association Pari Roller organizes a ‘Paris by night’ outing once a week for experienced skaters: a fast, exciting 30-km tour. Skaters of all skill levels are welcome at the ‘Rollers et coquillages’ association, which organizes leisurely skating tours to be enjoyed with friends or family every Sunday: a wonderful, free-wheeling way to admire the sights. But if you’d rather skate on an ice rink than the road, head to the rink at the Accorhotels Arena.
If you simply want to take a breather, then tai-chi-chuan and qi gong, two popular slow-moving forms of exercise from China, might be just what you’re looking for. Both are gentler versions of ‘wushu’, an ancestral Chinese martial art that includes kung-fu. Done on your own or with a group, in Paris squares and gardens (the Buttes Chaumont, the Jardin du Luxembourg, Parc André Citroën, etc.), tai-chi-chuan and qi gong help you to relax through a series of long, slow movements aimed at creating harmony between the mind and body by focusing on specific poses, breathing techniques and concentration.
- Cycling. www.velib.paris. www.parisrandovelo.fr; www.parisbiketour.net; wwwparisvelosympas.com; www.freescoot.com; www.legrandhuit.eu/fr/. Full list of addresses on parisinfo.com.
- Rollerblading. www.rsi.asso.fr. www.pari-roller.com. www.rollers-coquillages.org
- Ice skating. http://www.accorhotelsarena.com/fr/arena/la-patinoire
- Tai-chi-chuan and qi gong. https://www.evous.fr/Guide-de-la-gym-douce
In New York, there’s the High Line along the Hudson River. Paris has its Berges de Seine: the quays, which are on Unesco’s list of world heritage sites. After visiting the Musée d’Orsay, why not go for a romantic stroll along the Seine quayside? Or take the kids along, so they have a chance to run around. Just go down a few steps to reach the banks of the river, where you can walk, run, cycle or rollerblade along a 2.3-km pedestrian promenade alongside the Seine, all the way to the Eiffel Tower. Take a leisurely stroll to admire the beauty of Paris and its monuments, or to work up a sweat on the sports trail. Featuring a suspended ladder, an acceleration lane, a climbing wall and an athletics track where you can time yourself doing the 100 metres, the trail is popular with weekend exercisers as well as fitness fanatics. It’s an entertaining, sporty way to be out and about in Paris with the family. Don’t miss the opportunity to get some exercise in this evocative and sought-after spot with views of major monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Place de la Concorde.
If you enjoy swimming, Paris has some truly exceptional places where you can do a few lengths or improve your front crawl technique. At the 50-m Piscine Keller in the 15th arrondissement, the roof is opened up six months of the year, so you can enjoy an open-air swim as well as a superb view of the buildings along the Seine. Housed in a giant barge and protected in winter by a glass roof which is opened up in summer, the Josephine Baker swimming pool on the quayside in the 13th arrondissement overlooks the river and the boats chugging along it – you almost feel like you’re bathing in the Seine, right in the heart of Paris. The floating bars and clubs next door, including the Batofar, a veritable Paris institution, are perfect for relaxing after all your hard work in the pool.
The City of Paris is now taking things further with its incredibly ambitious project of giving the Seine ‘back’ to Parisians by making the river swimmable in time for the Olympic Games. Three or four sections of the river within Paris proper will be made fit for swimming. The concerned City of Paris divisions have joined forces to improve water quality by reducing bacterial levels. The Bassin de la Villette (19th) has already been transformed into an open-water swimming area (as of summer 2017), and Lac Dausmenil (12th) will be next, in 2019. Also in the works: an Aquatics Centre, currently being built at La Plaine Saulnier near the Stade de France, with capacity for 15,000 spectators. The venue will host the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming competitions at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Paris swimming pools:
- www.paris.fr/piscines. www.nageurs.com/piscines-Paris
- Hôtel Molitor Paris – Mgallery www.mltr.fr
If you’re looking to wind down, relax and enjoy some quiet time after a busy day sightseeing and shopping, the association ‘Yoga on top’ may be exactly what you need. They organize yoga lessons in some of the most beautiful and unusual spots in Paris. Check out the association’s website to find the perfect location for your yoga lesson: on a rooftop terrace, inside a park, in a covered market, in a luxury hotel, etc. www.yoga-on-top.fr
In search of a really unusual experience? Read on!
Are you keen on watersports? Get into a wetsuit and jump into the Seine for some waterskiing or wakeboarding! Several clubs also initiate visitors into stand-up paddle boarding on the Seine.
Want to test your head for heights? Play at being Tarzan and Jane with the treetrop adventure course at the Parc Floral, in the Bois de Vincennes, a five-minute walk from the metro station. Suspension bridges, tightropes, zip lines and other high-flying challenges over four courses make for an entertaining adventure among the treetops in the park.
Looking for a dance workout? Every summer, people are encouraged to come dancing on the banks of the Seine. Hundreds of dancers gather spontaneously at the Jardin Tino Rossi just below the Institut du Monde Arabe every evening from June until the end of August. Salsa, tango, traditional Breton dancing, rock: there’s something to suit all tastes. And, if you’ve always secretly wanted to become a cabaret dancer, you can learn how to dance the French cancan at the Paradis Latin. Everything is taken care of – from your hairstyle to your makeup and a costume complete with spangles. And, with help from real dancers at the Paradis Latin, you’ll soon know everything there is to know about the cancan and Paris popular culture.
Want to take a swing at a ball? You can play golf at the Longchamp racecourse, or learn to play Basque pelota, which essentially consists of pounding a ball against a concrete wall, at the Trinquet in the 16th arrondissement. In Paris, you can also have a game of ‘padel’ (the tennis-squash hybrid that is hugely popular in Argentina) or go roller skiing. This equivalent to cross-country skiing can be enjoyed on the city’s pavements. If you prefer a simple, relaxing and sociable game, head to one of the lively bars the 11th arrondissement, where you can play ping-pong, boules or mini bowls in a friendly atmosphere!
Are you a Star Wars fan? Then you’ll be pleased to hear that Paris has its very own lightsaber academy – the biggest one in France. A blend of fencing, French sword cane and Japanese sword fighting (kendo), the sport has its official federation, which sets out specific rules, and seven different styles of combat.
Are you a Bruce Lee fan? Now you can learn kung-fu the way it is taught at its birthplace, the Shaolin Temple, right here in the heart of Paris, in the Halle Pajol eco-district, thanks to the Afa Wushu association. This kung-fu club is run by a genuine Shaolin monk, who initiates kids and adults alike into the age-old techniques of the legendary Chinese temple.
- Paradis Latin 28 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, Paris 5th – www.paradislatin.com
- Festival des danses sur Seine https://fr-fr.facebook.com/PARISDANSESENSEINE
- Light sabre combat academy 46 rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, Paris 10th – M° Château d’Eau – www.sportsaberleague.com
- Play ping-pong in a bar Gossima ping-pong bar, 4 rue Victor Gelez, Paris 11th – M° Ménilmontant – www.gossima.fr
- Play boules in a bar Les Niçois, 7 rue Lacharrière, Paris 11th – M° Saint-Maur – www.lesnicois.com
- Go bowling in a bar La Quille 111 rue Saint-Maur, Paris 11th – M° Parmentier – www.laquille.net Accrobranche Parc Floral, Route de la Pyramide, Paris 12th – M° Château de Vincennes – www.evasion-verte.fr/parc-floral/
- Play baseball Mortemart or Pershing baseball diamonds, Corner of Avenue du Tremblay, Paris 12th, Bois de Vincennes.
- Golfing Route de Sèvres à Neuilly, Paris 16th – www.golfduboisdeboulogne.fr
- Play Basque belota Le Trinquet 8 quai Saint-Exupéry, Paris 16th – RER Pont du Garigliano – www.autrinquet.com
- Water sports Club nautique du 19e – 28 avenue Simon Bolivar, Paris 19th – M°Ourcq – www.cn19.fr; Ski nautique club de Paris: at the foot of the Passerelle de l’Avre in the Bois de Boulogne, between Pont de Saint-Cloud and Pont de Suresnes – www.skinautiqueclubdeparis.com; Stand Up Paddle: http://bbsup.fr/inscription-club-boulogne-billancourt-stand-up-paddle/
- Padel Club Padel Horizon 38 rue Roger Salengro, 94120 Fontenay-sous-bois – www.padelhorizon.com
- Unusual yoga locations www.yoga-on-top.fr
- Rollerski 201 rue du 8 mai 1945, 78360 Montesson – www.biathlonclubmontesson.unblog.fr
- Kung-Fu – Afa Wushu – https://afawushu.weebly.com/
- Original and offbeat sports and activities in Paris www.quefaire.paris.fr
Paris is on the way to becoming one of the world’s biggest metropolitan areas. The city’s expansion into Greater Paris has already begun – notably in terms of public transit with the Grand Paris Express, Europe’s largest and the world’s fourth-largest civil engineering project, which will carry 2 million travellers per day when complete. The 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will benefit from the ongoing transformation of Paris and its region into the Greater Paris metropolitan area. France’s future capital is already equipping itself with top-notch sports infrastructure: a boon for professional athletes and amateur sportspeople alike. Paris’s Olympic dream will create an enduring sporting heritage for all users.
A look at some of the new venues:
Water Polo Centre, Marville. The Marville swimming pool in Seine Saint-Denis to the north of Paris will undergo renovation to become a Games venue. It is located inside a fully-fledged familyfriendly sports centre near the Parc Georges-Valbon, the biggest urban green space in the Ile-deFrance region, which extends over a 415-hectare area in the vicinity of the famous Saint-Denis Basilica. After renovation, the sports complex will have two Olympic-size swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor, to host the water-polo competitions at the 2024 Games.
Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes. This was the main stadium of the 1924 Olympic Games, and also hosted the 1938 Football World Cup. Some of the greatest sportspeople of the 20th century have played at this well-known sports arena. A reminder of Paris’s Olympic past, the stadium will be the field hockey venue at the 2024 Paris Games. Work is currently underway to design and build the headquarters of the French Hockey Federation on site, together with top-class training facilities.
Water sports centre, Vaires-sur-Marne. A former sand quarry to the east of Paris, this site has been transformed into a water sports centre and now welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year. A major ongoing renovation slated for completion in 2018 will see the construction of a whitewater centre featuring a 250-metre slalom course and a 2,200-metre-long rowing lake. The venue will host all the rowing and canoe/kayak races at the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.
Château de Versailles. The world-famous palace of the Sun King – the first-ever French monument to be included on Unesco’s list of world heritage sites – will play host to the finest international horse riders. All the dressage, eventing and jumping competitions of the 2024 Games will take place in the magnificent gardens – designed in the French formal style – of the château, spreading over a vast 800-hectare expanse. What could possibly be a more beautiful setting for the Olympic equestrian sports?
Vélodrome national, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Built to support Paris’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Vélodrome National opened in 2014. It is the headquarters of the French Cycling Federation and the training ground of the French national team. A covered and floodlit BMX track – the first of its kind in Europe – will round off the Vélodrome’s 5,000 m2 of multisport outdoor space. In the run-up to the Olympic Games, why not take advantage of the venue’s excellent facilities for a number of sports: badminton, track cycling, BMX, fitness and combat sports.
Elancourt Hill. This artificial hill located between the towns of Elancourt and Trappes offers a sweeping view – extending to the Eiffel Tower – from the top. The 231-metre hill is the highest point in the Ile-de-France region. This beautiful green space serving an urban community is well worth the climb. You’ll be able to see the Saint-Quentin outdoor activities centre and lake at the bottom of the hill, the Château de Versailles a little further on and Paris spreading out before your eyes in the distance. The venue will host some of the extreme sports – specifically, the mountain biking competition – at the 2024 Games.
Golf national, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Opened in 1991, this is one of the finest golf courses in Europe. Owned and managed by the French Golf Federation, it is the permanent home of the French Open tournament, and a national training facility. Golf National has long implemented sustainable practices, regularly collaborating with organizations such as Paris’s natural history museum and the French environment ministry to undertake environmental stewardship of the site and preserve its natural heritage. It has been partially redeveloped to host the 2018 Ryder Cup, and will of course be the venue for the Olympic golf competition in 2024. Meanwhile, you can go along and practice your swing on one of its three stunning courses (respectively named Albatros, Aigle and Oiselet). There is also a golf school for children aged 6 and above. www.golf-national.com
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