Olympics and Paralympic Games Return to Paris

Originally posted on & updated on 9th May, 2024

Paris, also known as the City of Lights, is set to host the Olympic Games again in 2024, marking a historic moment as the Games return to their place of origin. The city played a pivotal role in reigniting the Olympic flame in 1900, thanks to the visionary leadership of Pierre de Coubertin.

Today, more than a century later, France’s rich sporting heritage and the evolution of the games will be showcased in another remarkable chapter. The 33rd edition of the Olympic Games will provide a platform for the world to witness the best of sport and culture and celebrate the values of excellence, friendship, and respect, starting in Paris, city of Lights and Sports, on July 26th.

Pierre de Coubertin’s Vision & Legacy

Pierre de Coubertin is widely regarded as the father of the modern Olympic Games. His vision was to revive the ancient Olympic Games and create an international sporting event promoting peace, unity, and understanding among nations. He believed sport could unite people and foster a sense of community and shared purpose for the entire world.

Coubertin’s legacy can be seen in the ongoing popularity of the Olympic Games, which have grown into one of the world’s largest and most prestigious sporting events. His emphasis on the importance of sportsmanship, fair play, and the pursuit of excellence continues to inspire athletes and fans worldwide. Coubertin’s vision of using sport as a tool for promoting peace and understanding remains as relevant today as it was over a century ago, and his legacy continues to shape the way we think about sport and its role in society.

Why French Language Holds a Special Place

Frances’ influence is deeply ingrained within the Olympic movement, extending far beyond the boundaries of the athletic arena. The French language holds a unique position in this realm, recognised along with English as one of the official working languages. This practice has been in place since the early days of the Olympics, as it aligns with the founder Pierre de Coubertin’s vision of fostering international understanding and unity through sport.

The French language is heard in various aspects of the Games, including official announcements, athlete interviews, and the camaraderie forged between competitors. Its presence is a reminder of the power of sport to transcend cultural barriers and unite people from different backgrounds. It’s fair to say that French is an integral part of the Olympic experience that contributes to the spirit of the Games.

French Athletes Who Embodied the Olympic Spirit

France has a long history of sporting excellence, which is reflected in its impressive record in the Olympics. Over the years, French athletes have showcased their incredible talent and skill, leaving a lasting impact on the world of sports. One such athlete is Guy Drut, a former French Olympic athlete who won a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He also served as the French Minister of Sports from 1995 to 1997 and was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 2000 to 2012.

Another sporting icon is Thierry Vigneron, a pole vaulter who broke the world record four times during his career. Vigneron’s incredible achievements paved the way for future generations of pole vaulters and cemented his position as one of the greatest. These days, it’s a Swedish-American athlete with a French-sounding name, Armand Duplantis, who’s the reigning and undisputed leading world champion. He holds the current world outdoor and indoor records and is the current Olympic and two-time World outdoor (2022 and 2023) champion and European champion.

Another French athlete who has left his mark on the Olympic landscape is Kevin Mayer. Mayer’s stunning decathlon performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics earned him a silver medal and solidified his position as a national hero. Mayer’s dedication, hard work, and exceptional talent have made him a role model for young athletes in France and beyond. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Kevin recovers from his recent setbacks in Brisbane (Australia) and San Diego (USA), and will be ready to perform and compete for a medal at his home Games.

However, it is on the tatami (judo mat) where French athletes excel. Teddy Riner, the undisputed heavyweight king, has won three Olympic gold medals and is widely considered one of the greatest judokas of all time. Riner’s dominance in the sport has been unparalleled, and he continues to inspire aspiring judokas around the world, recently taking Gold at Antalya in March 2024. Happy 35th Birthday Teddy, et bonne chance cet été!

These are just a few examples of the countless French athletes who have inspired generations with their exceptional talent, hard work, and dedication to their sport. The legacy of these athletes continues to live on, inspiring young athletes to aim for greatness and make their mark on the world of sports.

One new such athlete is 23-year-old Pablo Matéo, a sprinter who specialises in the 100 meters race and is currently the 3rd top-performing French athlete of all time. Matéo who has been training in America for a few years was timed at 20’‘03 (+2.0) in the 200 m race at the Texas Relays, setting a new personal record and achieving the Olympic qualifying time! He also ran the 100 m in 9’‘92 with a wind that was too favourable for the time to be officially recorded (+3.0). Matéo was born and grew up in the Essonne department of the of Ile de France region, less than 30 minutes from the capital city of Paris. Look out for this exciting new and rising talent who’ll be raring to show his potential and desperate to earn a medal at his home games too.

New Sports Take Center Stage

The Paris 2024 Olympics promises to be a thrilling international event, with traditional disciplines like swimming, fencing, judo, and kayaking expected to draw in fierce competition. However, the Games also embrace the changing face of sport, including skateboarding and breakdancing. These dynamic and expressive sports have been vibrant expressions of urban culture and athleticism for some time, and it’s fabulous to see them make their Olympic debut in Paris this year.

The addition of skateboarding and breakdancing is a significant move by the Olympics, reflecting the Games’ commitment to inclusivity and catering to a broader demographic. By embracing these sports, the Olympics will inject youthful energy into the event and stay relevant in a rapidly and constantly evolving world.

Skateboarding, which involves performing tricks and stunts on a board, has become increasingly popular among young people around the world, and has evolved into a global subculture. Similarly, breakdancing, which originated in the Bronx in the 1970s, has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with competitions and events held across the globe.

Including these sports in the Olympics is a recognition of their cultural significance and athletic merit. It offers a platform for a new generation of sports stars to shine internationally. The Paris 2024 Olympics promise to celebrate sports in all their diversity and reflect the changing face of athleticism in the 21st century.

Anticipation Builds for Paris 2024

As the world eagerly counts down the days to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the excitement and anticipation continue to build to unprecedented levels. The legacy of Pierre de Coubertin, and the passion of French athletes are set to combine with exciting cutting-edge sports and technology to create an unparalleled Olympic experience that is sure to be unforgettable.

Olympic enthusiasts are in for a treat, from the historical echoes of the 1900 Olympics, also held in Paris, to the ground-breaking debuts of new sports and events at the 2024 Games. The games will showcase athletic excellence, cultural diversity, and the enduring spirit of international unity, bringing together people from all four corners of the globe to celebrate the power of sport and the spirit of friendly competition.

So, if you haven’t already, mark your calendars and start brushing up on your French salutations. The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are shaping up to be one of the most unforgettable sporting events in recent memory.

The Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games are set to take place in Paris from 28 August to 8 September, shortly after the Olympic Games. This will be the second time that Paris has hosted the Paralympic Games, the previous occasion was in 1960. The Games will provide athletes with disabilities an opportunity to compete at the highest level and showcase their exceptional talents to the world.

The Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will have 22 sports on the roster, including new additions such as taekwondo and badminton. The Games will happen at various locations in Paris and nearby areas, with the Stade de France holding the opening and closing ceremonies.

The organisers of the Games are committed to ensuring that they are accessible and inclusive for all athletes, spectators, and volunteers. They are working closely with disability rights groups to make sure that the necessary accommodations are in place and that the Games leave a lasting legacy of improved accessibility and inclusion in Paris and beyond. The 2024 Paralympic Games promises to be an inspiring and unforgettable event, showcasing the power of sport to bring people together and promote equality and diversity.

How to Buy Tickets for the 2024 Games?

Tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are on sale in real-time on a “first come, first served” basis, both in France and internationally. Tickets are only on sale on the official ticketing website for fans and spectators from all over the world, no other sales platform is permitted to sell tickets. Given the success of ticket sales for the Games so far, some sessions are already sold out, while others may be temporarily unavailable. We recommend that you keep an eye on the respective booking and sales pages for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Follow the Olympic Torch Relay

The Torch Relay is an essential tradition that connects us to the roots of the Games. The first torch of the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay was lit on April 16, 2024, following an ancient tradition, during a ceremony in the sanctuary of Olympia, Greece, where the ancient Games initially took place. From the Peloponnese, the Olympic Flame travelled to Athens to board the three-masted historic Belem and crossed the Mediterranean Sea.

The Flame will travel to various historic sites, including the Lascaux caves, the medieval city of Carcassonne, and the Versailles Palace. It will illuminate impressive architectural structures such as churches, abbeys, castles, viaducts, bridges, and palaces. The Unesco-listed site of Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, one of the most well-known abbeys, will also be honoured. The Flame will also visit memorial sites such as the Verdun Memorial and the D-Day Landing beaches in Normandy to pay tribute to the fallen heroes of WWII.

The Torch Relay is a unique opportunity to showcase France’s most beautiful landscapes. The Flame will pass through exceptional scenery that has made France famous, from Mont Canigou to the Verdon Regional Natural Park, from the Île aux Moines to the Mont-Blanc valley.

The Olympic Flame arrived on On May 8, 2024, in Marseille to begin its journey throughout France. To learn more and follow the journey of the Olympic Torch Relay, visit the official page on the Olympic website.

Capital of Sporting Excellence

Here at my-french-house.com, we are monitoring the Torch Relay and watching the Games with great interest, having family members who may participate, and local friends competing in the Paralympic Games. For more information about Paris, visit our popular French Blog and let us know if you’re interested in an investment property in the Ile de France region or a specific quarter in the French Capital; prices for rental properties in Paris have exploded in recent months.

Olympic Fact - The French played Cricket!

Cricket was introduced as an Olympic sport during the 1900 Paris Games. In the final match, Great Britain emerged victorious over France to win the gold medal. However, this was the only time cricket was ever played at the Summer Olympics. The French Athletic Club Union was the team representing France in cricket during the 1900 Olympics. Unfortunately, they lost the only match, a 2-day 12-man contest, by a margin of 158 runs. It is worth noting that at least 11 French Athletic Club Union members were British nationals and two of them were born in France. This is an interesting and timely reminder that expats have been enjoying living in France for many decades and many reasons.

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