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2019 Olympic Day proves a huge success

2019 Olympic Day proves a huge success

More than 800,000 people took part in Olympic Day, which was held over the weekend across France and today in Paris, at the Place de la Concorde. Attended by some of French sport’s champion athletes, the event provided a taste of Paris 2024, five years before the world’s greatest sporting celebration comes to the French capital.

Launched in style with the opening of the Île-de-France Olympic Water Sports Stadium in Vaires-sur-Marne on Saturday, Olympic Day and the Festival of Sport 2019 came to a glorious conclusion in Paris this evening, with the Patrouille de France – the country’s aerobatic display team – conducting a spectacular flypast over the Place de la Concorde.

A day of celebrations and sport across France

More than 700 events were held across mainland France and its overseas territories, giving the French people the opportunity to discover Olympic and Paralympic sports and try their hand at them, and reflecting Paris 2024’s ambition to make these a truly national Games.

For their part, the people of Marseille were introduced to 16 Olympic and Paralympic sports on Prado Beach, while over to the west, workshops using sport to raise disability awareness were held in Brest. Thousands of miles away in Guadeloupe, the weekend’s events revolved around the sport of breaking, and in Paris a whole series of sporting activities were laid on for the city’s inhabitants in every arrondissement, from 17 to 23 June.


The weekend also saw the opening of the Île-de-France Olympic Water Sports Stadium. One of only a very small number of venues in the world that can host canoeing and rowing competitions, it also provides the people of Île-de-France and anyone wishing to try out water sports with facilities where they can get to grips with a host of leisure pursuits.

Fun, games and a superb spectacle

Over in the French capital, the Place de Concorde was converted into a magnificent open-air stadium for the public to enjoy, giving a glimpse into the fun and the spectacle that the Paris 2024 Games will offer, with sport and the public coming together as one in the heart of the city and in the midst of its finest landmarks.

More than 300,000 people had the opportunity to try out the 30 Olympic and Paralympic sports that took up residence in a superb setting covering an area of 75,000m².

Sharing their passion for sport with the thousands of visitors of all ages were some 150 athletes, among them Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie, Olympic swimming champion Yannick Agnel, Paralympic athletics champion Nantenin Keita, Olympic judo champion Emilie Andéol, and Olympic handball champion Jérôme Fernandez.

There were some unforgettable memories on a day of sharing and intense emotions, not least for the first 46 qualifiers for the mass-participation marathon at the Paris 2024 Games. These fortunate few, who took part in 12 races held across the country and over the same distance of 2,024 metres, can now look forward to experiencing the magic of the 2024 Games.

As well as BMX – with the France team providing demonstrations – three of the four additional sports proposed by Paris 2024 (breaking, sport climbing, and skateboarding) proved a big hit with visitors to the Place de la Concorde. The spectacle they provided and the performance of the athletes created a big impression on the eve of the IOC Session in Lausanne on Tuesday 25 June, when a decision will be made on the Paris 2024 proposal.

An amazing celebration embracing the entire sports movement

This day of fun and participation was only made possible by the commitment of all the actors in the sports movement: volunteers; clubs; local, departmental and regional Olympic and sporting committees; Olympic and Paralympic federations; and athletes.

Since launching its bid, Paris 2024 has sought to bring the sports movement and all the actors by its side together as one. With that in mind, and in a symbolic step forward, the Olympic and Paralympic federations in their entirety are the first to receive “Terre de Jeux 2024” certification, in the form of an agreement signed today with Paris 2024, the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) and the French National Paralympic Committee (CPSF). This agreement highlights their ongoing commitment to developing sport across France.

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet: “I am delighted with the success of Olympic Day 2019 and the number of people who have taken part in it. It is a very special day that reflects our ambition for the Paris 2024 Games: to host a spectacular, fun-filled celebration that is open and accessible to as many people as possible and which bring France’s citizens closer to sport and to athletes. You only have to be at the Place de la Concorde and see the looks on the faces of the children as they meet some great sporting champions to realise the impact that sport can have. I would once again like to thank the sports movement and its actors, who are out and about everyday pushing back boundaries. Nothing could happen without them.”

Denis Masseglia, President of the CNOSF: “The CNOSF, the government, the City of Paris and the Île-de-France Region have worked together as one and in conjunction with Paris 2024 to come up with a unique package for Olympic Day/Festival of Sport 2019, held on a one-off basis over the course of two days. Right across France more than 700 projects have taken shape and free taster events and demonstrations have been put forward, while Paris staged a spectacular event at the Place de la Concorde and at the bottom of the Champs Elysées. I would like to pay tribute to the involvement of the federations, athletes, committees, clubs, the CNOSF’s local teams, and the operational teams who have allowed our nation to celebrate Olympism by increasing the scope and scale of this special day. The large number of participants has once
again shown the ability of our country to come together as one to play sport and share in the values of excellence, friendship and respect. This is a success story that encourages the sports movement to continue with its efforts and strengthens its determination to attract more and more people across France to join clubs, which is where everything starts. The images from the Place de la Concorde are truly impressive and provide a taste of the magic of the Games and the Paris 2024 project.”

Roxana Maracineanu, French Minister for Sport: “I am thrilled by the success of this Olympic Day held in association with the Festival of Sport, which has been made possible by the enthusiastic involvement of the Ministry of Sport, the organising committee, the CNOSF, sporting federations, local authorities, clubs and charities. Right across the country, people have been trying their hand at sporting activities, watching demos and meeting athletes. It’s a taster for the Games, a genuine celebration and a unique opportunity for people to come together around sport and Olympism.”

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris: “I am delighted with the success Olympic Day has enjoyed in Paris this year. We wanted to take the event out to the city’s suburbs and its success has once again underlined how passionate the people of Paris, the Île de France region and everyone who loves the French capital are about Olympism, playing sport, and the reclaiming of public areas by pedestrians.”

Valérie Pécresse, President of the Île de France Region: “With the opening of the Île-de-France Olympic Water Sports Stadium and two wonderful days of fun and sport for the region’s people here in Vaires-sur-Marne, it has been a superb weekend, one that has shown people just how committed we are to making the 2024 Olympic Games an opportunity for everyone.”