(ATR) The Olympic Day celebrations in Paris will mimic the atmosphere the city hopes to create during the 2024 Games, according to Paris 2024 bid leaders.
Paris 2024 is turning the scenic River Seine that winds through the heart of the city into the backdrop for its celebration zone and sports park during its two-day celebration of the 123rd Olympic Day and anniversary of the creation of the International Olympic Committee.
"This year, our two-day celebration will be an opportunity to share our passion for the Games, to demonstrate the commitment of our nation behind Paris 2024 and to unveil to the world our vision for a spectacular celebration zone – Paris Olympic Park – which will be the jewel in the crown of the 2024 Games," said Paris 2024 co-chairman Tony Estanguet.
The goal of Olympic Day is to introduce the values of sport and Olympism to all people but with a particular emphasis on youth involvement and inspiration.
Paris 2024 says its 2017 celebration of Olympic Day will be unprecedented, with its celebration zone extending from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame. The celebration zone and sports park will feature exhibitions of 30 Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, highlighted by a floating athletics track on the Seine.
The celebration begins June 23 with Paris 2024 co-chairman Estanguet and 200 kayakers taking to the River Seine for the ‘Great Crossing of Paris’ beginning at the Stade de France, the Ceremonies venue in the Paris 2024 bid.
The canoeing Olympic champion will also be joined on the Seine by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at Pont Marie. Estanguet and Hidalgo will then continue on to the floating track near Pont Alexandre III where the two will inaugurate the first 100m race on the River Seine featuring famous French Olympians and Paralympians.
"Paris will transform into a gigantic sports park and live site to celebrate the values of Olympism in the spirit of celebration and joy," Hidalgo said in a statement. "Linking the Rives de Seine riverside park, the river and its canals, these two days will demonstrate once again that Paris is ready to share its love of sport and its enthusiasm to host the Games in 2024."
The floating track will remain the centerpiece of the celebration zone throughout the two-day event with demonstrations of fencing, boxing, taekwondo, archery, judo, karate and gymnastics scheduled to take place.
The Paris 2024 Olympic Day activities will conclude on Saturday with the running of the "2,024 km for Paris". Thousands of professional and amateur athletes will gather together as cyclists, equestrian riders and runners all take to the streets of Paris before converging at Les Invalides for the grand finale where the Paris 2024 colors will be proudly flown.
Paris 2024 has enlisted the help of more than 1,000 volunteers to provide assistance to all spectators throughout the celebration zones.
There will also be road closings and pat downs upon entry to the celebration zones with both French police and independent security experts ensuring the safety of all participants.
Around the Rings will be on the scene on the Seine.
Following the Olympic Day festivities, Paris 2024 will begin work on its penultimate presentation to IOC members that will take place during the Extraordinary IOC Session July 11-12 in Lausanne.
The Extraordinary Session will determine whether the IOC moves forward with a proposal to award both the Summer 2024 and Summer 2028 Games at the IOC Session in Lima, Peru on Sep. 13. Paris is only competing with Los Angeles to host the 2024 or 2028 Olympics.
Written by Kevin Nutley in Paris.
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