Paris to host spectacular show in hope of winning 2024 Olympics bid
Cycling races up the Champs Elysées, diving off the Pont Alexandre and trampolining in the Petit Palais. This weekend the French capital will be transformed into a huge playing field as the city hopes to win the bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
Events around the capital this weekend
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is scheduled to announce its pick for the cities to host the 2024 and 2028 games in September. At the moment, it's a close race between Los Angeles and Paris, but French are hoping that a grand sports display taking place this weekend (23/06-24/06) will help them to victory.
After a difficult few years during which France has been the target of several devastating terrorist attacks, the opportunity to host the Olympic Games is a chance to show the world a vibrant and welcoming Paris, unbowed by recent tragedies.
This is the French capital's fourth bid and by 2024, it will 100 years since it last hosted the games. During the 2012 campaign, the Champs-Elysées was transformed into an athletics track, but this year the city is taking things up a level. There are numerous sporting events scheduled to take place around major landmarks throughout the capital.
There will be a diving display by the French Olympic team off the Pont Alexandre III, the ornate and glamourous bridge connecting Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower. Furthermore, a velodrome track will be constructed around the Arc de Triomphe and a cycle race will whizz down the Champs-Elysées. Meanwhile acrobatic and trampolining events will take place in the Petit Palais.
Most exciting of all perhaps, is the 150 metre floating race track that will be installed in the middle of the Seine.
This weekend is just a taste of what Paris has to offer. If it wins the bid, there are plans to transform the capital into an Olympic park, with volleyball in the Champs to Mars and taekwondo and fencing in the Grand Palais. Two new arenas will be built, but the focus is on using existing venues. The official website states "Paris 2024 promises to deliver spectacular Games with 95% of venues already built."
In Versailles, equestrian events will be organised, while marathon and triathalon races will begin at the iconic Eiffel Tower and the open water racing will take place in the Seine.
The official statement says "Paris 2024 will use existing world-class sporting facilities, showcasing France's know-how and expertise in organising major international competitions and the country's passion for sport."