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OLYMPICS

Paris Olympics to include breakdancing and allow public to run marathon course

Breakdancing is set to make its debut as an Olympic sport at Paris 2024, the head of the local organising committee said Thursday, whilst members of the public will be able to race the marathon course for the first time.

Paris Olympics to include breakdancing and allow public to run marathon course
Photo: AFP

Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing, which have already been added to the programme for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, have been invited to return in Paris four years later.

Tony Estanguet, the head of the Paris 2024 organising committee and a former Olympic gold medallist in canoeing, said the inclusion of the four sports responded to a need to make the Olympics “more urban” and “more artistic”.

“This is a major step forward in our ambition to organise a unique Olympic Games,” Estanguet said.

“Right from the beginning, our aim was to offer Games that would have an impact and the element of surprise.

“This is why we have chosen to present the IOC with four sports that are as creative as spectacular, geared towards youth and completely in line with our vision. 

“They reflect perfectly Paris 2024's identity.”

The choice of the four sports still needs to be rubberstamped by the International Olympic Committee.

Squash misses out

Breakdancing, known as breaking, appeared at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, in the form of head-to-head “battles”.

Russia's Sergei Chernyshev, competing under the nickname Bumblebee, won the first breakdancing gold medal for boys in that event, while Japan's Ramu Kawai won the girls' title.

The IOC had announced that the number of competitors at Paris 2024 would be restricted to 10,500, which limited the scope to add sports.

But the organisers said the inclusion of the four sports in Paris would not necessitate the construction of permanent facilities and would involve just 248 competitors, of which 32 would be in breakdancing.

The surfing events are likely to be held in established surf centres such as Biarritz or Lacanau in southwest France.

“It is an incredible honour and privilege that, for the first time, a dance discipline is being considered for inclusion in the Olympic Games.

It is a humbling experience for all members and supporters of DanceSport,” said Shawn Tay, the president of the World DanceSport Federation.

He predicted that, if included, breaking would be “an outstanding success”.

The inclusion of breakdancing at Paris 2024 means that squash has missed out, to the deep disappointment of the sport's governing bodies.

In a joint statement, the World Squash Federation (WSF) and the Professional Squash Association (PSA) said: “We truly believe squash could seamlessly integrate into the Olympic programme with minimal costs and an optimised pool of participants.”

Paris organisers also announced that members of the public will be able to run the marathon course on the same day as the event, after the Olympic race.

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OLYMPICS

MAP: Here is where events will be held for 2024 Paris Olympics

Organisers of the Paris Olympics have released a new list of venues for events in the 2024 games - including one 15,000km away from Paris.

MAP: Here is where events will be held for 2024 Paris Olympics
Photo: AFP

The revised map of venues still needs to be approved by the board of directors on December 17th, but is expected to remain unchanged.

Faced with the financial crisis caused by the pandemic and lockdowns, the Paris committee has come up with a revised venue list which its says will save €150 million by scrapping two building projects and amalgamating other events into the same venue.

The big loser is the département of Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris, which was to get two new temporary sites for aquatic events and volleyball.

However the area keeps the Olympic Village for athletes, while the opening ceremony and athletics events will be at Stade de France in the area.

 

Here is a high-res version of the above map, and here is an overview of the revised map of events;

Lille – The handball events, previously planned for Paris, will be held at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille in northern France.

Marseille – the southern city of Marseille will hold sailing events

Tahiti – will host surfing. The island of Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, one of France's overseas territories, which makes it technically part of France, despite being 15,000km away from Paris.

Versailles – The site of one of the world's most famous royal palaces is only about 20km outside Paris and will host equestrian events and the modern pentathlon.

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – the Vélodrome nationale in the town of Saint-Quentin, about 25km outside Paris, will host the track cycling events, while golf will be held in the same town.

Elancourt – the town of Elancourt, about 30km from Paris, will hold the mountain bike events, while nearby Trappes will host the BMX bike events.

Vaires-sur-Marne – the commune about 25km east of Paris will host canoeing and kayaking at the Stade nautique.

Paris

But unsurprisingly for a Paris Olympics, most events are in or around the city. Here's an overview of the bigger events.

Stade de France – France's 81,000-seater national stadium in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris will host the opening ceremony, followed by athletics and rugby.

Seine-Saint-Denis is one of France's poorest départements, and the Olympics had been envisaged as a major regeneration project for the area. In spite of the loss of two venues in the cost-cutting programme, there is still plenty happened in the northern area.

Diving, synchronised swimming and water polo will all be held in the Aquatics Centre.

Olympic Village – the athletes will stay in purpose-build accommodation in Saint-Denis which afterwards will be available as housing for local people.

Shooting, climbing and the media centre will be hosted in Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis.

Hockey – will be held in Colombes, in the Hauts-de-Seine département to the west of the city.

Moving within the city boundaries there are 12 locations that will be used for Olympic events.

Swimming – will be at the La Défense Arena in western Paris. A multi-function arena, it is the home of Stade Français rugby club, while also hosting multiple sports events and being used as a music venue in the evening.

Tennis and boxing – Roland Garros – home of the French Open – will naturally host tennis events, as well as boxing.

Table-tennis, weight-lifting, volleyball and basketball – the Parc des Expositions will host these events and the preliminary matches of the basketball events.

Gymnastics and basketball – the Accor Arena hosts the finals of the basketball, as well as gymnastics events.

Football – Parc des Princes, home of Paris-Saint-Germain, will host the football.

Badminton, rhythmic gymnastics – the La Chapelle arena hosts rhythmic gymnastics events, plus badminton.

But the Paris committee is also keen to use non-sporting venues to host events, including plenty of outdoor venues, to really integrate the games into the daily life of the city.

Taekwondo and fencing – the beautiful and historic Grand Palais, which usually operates as a museum, will host fencing and taekwondo.

Cycling – some cycle events will finish along the Champs-Elysée, as the Tour de France does.

Urban sports – this year's new events, including breakdancing, and other urban sports will be held in the Place de la Concorde

Archery – will be held at Invalides, a historic landmark begun in 1690 on the orders of Louis XIV for injured soldiers.

Wrestling, judo and beach-volleyball – will be held on the Champs-de-Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower.

Cycling, walking racing, marathon, triathlon and open-water swimming – these will all be held partially on (or underneath in the case of the swimming) the Pont d'Iéna over the River Seine in central Paris. 

The games run from July 26th to August 11th, 2024, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 28th to  September 8th, 2024.

 

 

 

 

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