The City of Light will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time in a century and Lambis Konstantinidis, the Director of Planning and Coordination of Paris 2024, sits down with Spirit of Sport to preview the forthcoming sporting extravaganza in the French capital.
Paris 2024 will be the first gender balanced and climate positive Games in history – and Konstantinidis insists that the spectacular backdrop of the city itself will play a huge role in the event.
“The opening ceremony will embody our slogan of ‘Games Wide Open’. Hundreds of thousands of spectators will be able to join us, free of charge, on the Seine, to watch the opening ceremony and see the athletes coming through the city.”
The Games will also feature iconic venues such as the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais and the Chateau de Versailles, which will offer a spectacular backdrop for competition.
“We have taken every opportunity to showcase our heritage and at the same time provide iconic adventures for these athletes,” adds Konstantinidis.
The Games will feature exciting new disciplines such as breaking and climbing, with skateboarding also making its second appearance after being introduced at Tokyo 2020. That Games provided a breakthrough moment for teenage Brazilian skateboarding sensation Rayssa Leal, who won silver to become one of the youngest Olympic medallists in history.
The two-times Nominee for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award – who recently announced her partnership with Laureus Sport For Good and Nike to invest in young female skateboarders in Brazil – told Spirit of Sport:
"When parents tell me ‘my daughter wanted a skateboard because she saw you at the Olympics’ I am very happy.
“At the [Tokyo 2020] Olympics, I knew that there was responsibility because I was not only representing my family and my team but the entire Brazilian nation.
“I am very much looking forward to returning to Paris in 2024. Last time it was strange not to have the crowds cheering, but this time we will have the presence of the fans and it will be cool.”
The sport involves 10 world-class teams led by motorsport legends such as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg – and it was Rosberg’s RXR team who were crowned Extreme E champions after 10 rounds across four countries.
There is a burst of adrenaline as we learn more about wakeskater Brian Grubbs’ incredible base jump in Dubai, before we drop in on the Laureus Charity Golf Invitational Hong Kong, at The Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, which raised 1.2million HKD for Laureus Sport for Good.
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