Today, Tuesday, Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024 and Jean-François Martins, Paris Deputy Mayor with responsibility for sport, tourism and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, unveiled the city’s plans for Olympic Day 2018 with support from French Olympic medallists Renaud Lavillenie and Gwladys Epangue.
Olympic Day will be celebrated worldwide on 23 June 2018. The initiative is aimed at promoting participation in Olympic and Paralympic sports through demonstration events and taster sessions led by athletes.
The first Olympic Day celebration to take place in France since 13 September 2017, when Paris was awarded hosting rights to the 2024 Games, will see the city at the heart of a nationwide “24 hours in Games mode” concept, driven by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF). The City of Paris, the CNOSF and Paris 2024 are together proposing an extensive programme of activities, giving residents of Paris and the wider region, as well as visitors to the city, the chance to experience a foretaste of the Games while enjoying a unique and festive atmosphere along the banks of the Seine, which will be a key centre of the Games celebration in 2024. Numerous highlights are planned to take place across the capital.
Olympic Day events in each “arrondissement”
On Wednesday, 20 June, each Parisian arrondissement will host its own Olympic and Paralympic Day celebration, involving festive, cultural and educational activities based on the Olympic values. A sporting challenge or quiz trail will see all participants rewarded with a certificate and the chance to take part in a meet-and-greet with athletes attending the 23 June celebrations.
All events will be open to the public, particularly schools and leisure centres, giving everyone the chance to discover new activities in the many sports facilities of the capital.
The River Seine in Olympic Day mode
On Saturday, 23 June 2018, Parisians, residents of the wider region and tourists alike will be invited to share the Olympic and Paralympic spirit in the heart of France’s capital. The banks of the Seine will be transformed into a giant sporting playground, with sports equipment and facilities available for everyone to use.
Between noon and 8pm in the evening, free sports demonstrations and taster sessions will be held in 30 Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, with support from numerous French champions.
An area measuring 250,000 m², in the very heart of Paris, will be entirely dedicated to sport.
- On the Right Bank, a watersports area will be installed, stretching from Bras Marie to the Pont des Arts. A zone for team sports will be established outside the Hotel de Ville, where people will also be able to swim or play a game of tennis. In keeping with the unique character of the day, Renaud Lavillenie will attempt to beat his own world record as part of pole vault competition planned to take place in the spectacular setting of the Pont de l’Arcole.
- On the Left Bank (running from the Pont des Arts to the port of Gros Caillou), the Pont des Arts will play host to combat sports. Facilities for athletics, gymnastics and badminton will be run by staff of the respective national federations at the Port du Gros Caillou. Between 6.30pm and 10.30pm, demonstrations by trampoline gymnasts and athletes of other aerial disciplines will take place on the Alexandre III bridge.
Paris final of the “24 races”
Another key theme of France’s Olympic Day 2018 celebrations will be a “24 races in 24 hours” initiative, to take place throughout metropolitan France as well as in the overseas territories. It will involve free mass participation races of 2,024 metres in length, organised in partnership with the French Athletics Federation.
The first race will set off in Marseille at 10.30am and the last in Paris at 10.30pm. The race in the capital will be a fun and light-filled event, with runners to be given LED bracelets and fluorescent t-shirts.
Anyone wishing to take part can now sign up, for free, on the dedicated website :
Denis Masseglia, President of the CNOSF: “Every year, Olympic Day is an opportunity to celebrate Olympism throughout France and worldwide. This 2018 edition will once again see the Olympic values shine with the staging of numerous free events and races across the nation. The sports movement is fully engaged to ensure this event is a true celebration of Olympism.”
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris: “For the second year in a row, Paris will be transformed, for one day, into an extraordinary sporting playground. Parisians and visitors of all generations are invited to discover numerous sports disciplines, all free of charge, in the company of the athletes, associations and local authorities taking part. This will be a great moment of sharing and celebration of the values of sport. It will give everyone a foretaste of what the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be like in Paris in 2024.”
Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024: “Our 2018 Olympic Day celebrations will have a special flavour, coming a few months after the historic result in Lima. France is now preparing to host the Games in six years’ time, and these 24 hours will be a chance to share the unique atmosphere of the Games, providing a foretaste of a magical summer in the heart of Paris. Olympic Day will also be a chance to engage the population, providing unprecedented opportunities to meet and exchange with French champions. Crucially, it will help us to launch a movement that aims to make each visitor an ambassador and active participant in the Paris 2024 Games.”