5 historic sporting venues in the 2024 Paris Olympics, and one in Tahiti


By AGENCY

Yves du Manoir Stadium hosted the Summer Olympics opening ceremony in 1924. — Photos: paris2024.org

As the 2024 Olympic Games descend upon Paris this summer, the world will witness athletic prowess and sporting spectacle on a canvas of history and architectural marvels.

While the 2024 Paris Olympics will rely on purpose-built venues to host some sports, as well as an Olympic Village and media village, these Olympics are set to feature the city’s heritage.

As is often the case with the Olympics – the venues are spread far and wide, and few are located within walking distance of one another. The Palace of Versailles, for example, is outside the Paris city limits in the Ile-de-France region. It’s roughly a 30-minute drive or train ride from other famous Paris landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. Sailing will be held on the other side of the country in the Mediterranean city of Marseille.

And one sport will be played on the opposite side of the world.

In any list of impressive and historic venues from Olympic Games, these 2024 Paris venues would certainly be contenders.

An artist’s rendition of what the Palace of Versailles’ grounds will look like during the Olympics. — Photos: paris2024.orgAn artist’s rendition of what the Palace of Versailles’ grounds will look like during the Olympics. — Photos: paris2024.org

CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES

Location: Ile-de-France

Sports: Equestrian and modern pentathlon

Many people know the Palace of Versailles as home to the court of Louis XIV. But the place that started as a hunting lodge and has since grown to become one of France’s most iconic tourist destinations (as evidenced by its listing as a Unesco World Heritage site) is soon to be an Olympic site.

This summer, the grounds will be temporarily fitted with an outdoor area to stage equestrian disciplines, plus many modern pentathlon events.

A view of Champ de Mars from the Eiffel Tower. — MATT GIRLING/WikipediaA view of Champ de Mars from the Eiffel Tower. — MATT GIRLING/Wikipedia

CHAMP DE MARS

Location: Paris

Sports: Beach volleyball

Beach volleyball spectators will be able to see one of the most famous Paris landmarks. That’s because Champ de Mars, a large park bordering the Eiffel Tower on one side, will become a temporary outdoor arena for beach volleyball.

With it, onlookers will be in incredibly close proximity to the famous icon that was built for the World’s Fair of 1889.

Organises predict that the Grand Palais at Champs-Elysees will look like this during the Games.Organises predict that the Grand Palais at Champs-Elysees will look like this during the Games.

GRAND PALAIS

Location: Paris

Sports: Fencing, Taekwondo

The Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees has been one of the grandest event centres in Paris since it was built in 1900. It hosts roughly two million visitors annually, with most of the floor space covered by a fanciful glass roof.

It will host fencing and taekwondo this summer. Athletes might find the venue familiar, as the Grand Palais hosted the World Fencing Championships in 2010.

STADE YVES-DU-MANOIR STADIUM

Location: Colombes

Sports: Hockey

Stade Yves-du-Manoir or Yves-du-Manoir Stadium has a special place in Olympic history as being the only venue in France to host the Olympic Games for a second time. A century ago, the stadium was the site of the 1924 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

Since then, it has hosted major championships for sports including rugby and boxing. This year, it will host the hockey portion of the Olympic Games.

A file picture of a surfer riding a wave at Teahupo’o in Tahiti during a professional surfing event. — AFPA file picture of a surfer riding a wave at Teahupo’o in Tahiti during a professional surfing event. — AFP

TEAHUPO’O

Location: Teahupo’o, Tahiti

Sports: Surfing

Not every 2024 Paris venue is in Paris – or near it. Surfing is set for Teahupo’o, Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia.

Known for its world-class waves, Teahupo’o has hosted some of the biggest surfing events, including the Tahiti Pro. And although organisers have claimed the event will protect the island’s nature, some people are concerned about the environmental impact on Tahiti.

Among the biggest controversies is one centred around the construction of a new over-water aluminium tower that many worry is damaging the coral reef. Despite a Change.org petition that has generated close to 250,000 signatures, as well as a proposal from the International Surfing Association, the 2024 Paris team has decided to move forward with the installation of a tower, albeit smaller and lighter than what was originally proposed. – NerdWallet/AP


Navigating travel in Paris

If you plan to watch the Olympics in person, plan sufficient time to travel between venues. To save money, consider booking lodging outside the city’s core.

The average nightly rate for available short-term vacation rentals in Paris during the period of the Summer Olympics is €542 (RM2,780). That’s according to data gathered in mid-January 2024 by AirDNA, a short-term rental analytics company. For the same dates but for rentals located in Paris suburbs, AirDNA found that the average nightly rate was just €266 (RM1,364).

And no matter where in France you’re headed, follow the basic rules for smarter European travel. Arrive at the top tourist destinations early, embrace public transit and don’t assume fixtures from home (like air conditioning, free public bathrooms and free water) are readily available.

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