POSTED: June 23rd 2017

2024 Bid cities Los Angeles and Paris pull out all the stops for Olympic Day

Paris produced a floating athletics track in the Seine © Paris 2024
Paris produced a floating athletics track in the Seine © Paris 2024

The LA celebration is part of USOC's 2,400 events taking place across America © LA 2024
The LA celebration is part of USOC's 2,400 events taking place across America © LA 2024

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Both bid cities in this 2024 summer Games race put on spectacular Olympic Day celebrations today June 23rd to ignite their Olympic Spirit and rally the enthusiasm in their home countries to host the Games.

The City of Angels

The Los Angeles 2024 bid, the LA 84 Foundation, and the Foundation for Global Sports Development are staging a "Follow the Sun" celebration at Will Rogers State Beach. During the day more than 30 Team USA Olympians and Paralympians will interact with 500 young athletes participating in eight Olympic and Paralympic sport clinics, including fencing, gymnastics, sitting volleyball, rugby, table tennis, team handball, track and field, and volleyball.

The USOC is hosting a record-setting 2,400 events in honor of 2017 Olympic Day in 1,600 communities nationwide, with nearly 600,000 people engaged in celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic movements.

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  • USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said,"Olympic Day marks an exciting milestone on the sporting calendar each year, and gives us the opportunity to spread the values of Olympism to the next generation of Team USA athletes and fans.

    "Hundreds of inspiring Team USA athletes, National Governing Bodies and Multi-Sport Organizations have come together to bring sport and the Olympic values to communities throughout the country."

    LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman added, "LA 2024 believes in the power of the Olympic values to unite our communities and to encourage youth around the world to play sports and pursue active lives.

    "It makes me very proud to know that hundreds of thousands of people around the nation are following LA's lead today in celebrating the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Days like today boost our belief that LA 2024 is the perfect partner to help the IOC strengthen and spread Olympic values in the U.S. and worldwide." 

    The City of Lights 

    Along the Seine River, from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, the heart of Paris will be transformed into a giant sports park to celebrate June 23, 1894. This is the day Baron Pierre de Coubertin established the IOC at the Sorbonne in Paris, opening up a new era for the Olympic Games. The city has the unique attraction of being the rebirth of the Olympic Movement and the city went all out to commemorate the day. If they win the right to host the Games in 2024 it would also be the centennial of the 1924 Games held in the city.

    To launch the events, up to 300 kayakers, led by Paris 2024 Co-Chair and triple Olympic canoe champion Tony Estanguet, will form a giant flotilla, which will travel along the Seine to the floating athletics track where Estanguet will join the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, Denis Masseglia, and all bid partners to inaugurate the two days.

    Paris 2024 Co-Chair, Tony Estanguet, said, "Olympic Day is a special day in France. Every year it offers the chance to celebrate Olympism and its values with people of all ages but in particular with the youth. 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".

    The floating athletics track in the middle of the Seine River is especially scenographic and was made for "selfies" as athletes and fans enjoyed the show.

    Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, commented, "On the 23rd and 24th of June, Paris will transform into a gigantic sports park and live site to celebrate the values ​​of Olympism in the spirit of celebration and joy. Six large areas in the heart of the city, accessible to Parisians and visitors alike, will allow people to move, learn and discover Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

    "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 celebrations included sports fields on the lawn of Les Invalides, trampolines in the Petit Palais, a high diving board on Pont Alexander III, a cycle track in Paris city centre, and a climbing wall on the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, plus samplings of more than 30 disciplines against the spectacular backdrop of Paris' iconic landmarks.

    The IOC is currently studying the possibility of awarding editions of the Games to both cities and the next step in this process will be the Extraordinary IOC Session to be held in Lausanne July 11 and 12 to discuss this plan and the members' reaction.

    **LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-six years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

    Keywords · IOC · Olympics · LA 2024 · Paris 2024

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