For over a century the French Open has been held at various venues around the city. Today, it has settled down in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines course, where some of the world’s best golfers travel to compete with a host of gifted young players.
Now where else would the Tour de France finish? Yes, Paris. The greatest cycling race in the world concludes on the Champ-Elysees. The legendary event concludes with some difficult climbs and steep descents, ending with a sprint finish. Ooh la la. Get up close to the action in Paris and cheer on the leaders as they make one final burst past the chequered flag. You too can throw on your helmet and take a bike tour along the gruelling Alpe d’Huez route if you dare. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings as you emulate your heroes. C’est fantastique.
The third of the French Classics to take place every year, the Grand Prix de Paris is a race run over 2400m at the Longchamp Racecourse. It takes place on none other than Bastille Day (let them have cake) each year and a win in this race is widely considered one of the greatest achievements in horse racing. The race itself has been on the go since 1863 (well not the same race if you know what we mean), and differs from other French classics in that it always opened its doors to international thoroughbreds. The race has been held consistently at Longchamp since the end of World War II.
The Meeting Areva hosts some of the best athletes in the world, and is the largest athletics competition of its type in France. It takes place in the magnificent stadium, the Stade de France. This summer, the Meeting Areva will take place just three weeks before the London Olympics, meaning that athletes who haven’t yet qualified will be doing their upmost to meet the Olympic standard, while others will be finalizing their preparations for London. Usain Bolt competed last year, while his sprint rival Tyson Gay is set to do so this July. Some of the world’s fastest runners will take part in what is sure to be an enthralling 100m sprint.
And if the hint of pre Olympian adrenalin is finally taking hold of you, then you too can take part in one of the toughest events out there – the Paris Triathlon. Combine swimming, cycling and running into one race amid the stunning surroundings of Paris. Athletes of all levels will be accommodated in three different divisions. Swim the Siene, cycle the idyllic Bois de Boulogne and finish by running beneath the Eiffel Tower. Now that’s what I call sightseeing with a difference. Viva la difference.
Five days of a free basketball festival will take place this July at the Cité Universitaire Internationale. You can watch or take part in several tournaments and clinics, with the aim to help develop your game, organised by Nike. The final of the all-girls international streetball tournament called ‘She Got Game’ takes place during the festival. France play their last game before the Olympics against their Spanish neighbours at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy.
The EDF Swimming Open takes place at the Lagardére in Paris for two days of exciting aquatic competition. The best of the world will finalise their preparations for the Olympics in one of the biggest events in the swimming world. No frogs legs will be on show during the events