Olympics: Paris turns into Olympic park as part of push to host 2024 Games

A diver jumping off a platform near the Alexander III bridge into the River Seine with the Montparnasse tower in the background on June 23, 2017, as Paris transforms into a giant Olympic park to spur its 2024 bid.
A diver jumping off a platform near the Alexander III bridge into the River Seine with the Montparnasse tower in the background on June 23, 2017, as Paris transforms into a giant Olympic park to spur its 2024 bid.PHOTO: REUTERS
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and co-president of the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics Tony Estanguet rowing on the Seine river.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and co-president of the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics Tony Estanguet rowing on the Seine river.PHOTO: REUTERS
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and 1976 Olympic 110m hurdles champion Guy Drut dancing before starting a 100m race by French athletes on a floating track on the River Seine.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and 1976 Olympic 110m hurdles champion Guy Drut dancing before starting a 100m race by French athletes on a floating track on the River Seine. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - A diver plunged into the Seine while the Mayor of Paris took to the river in a kayak, as the French capital transformed itself on Friday into a giant Olympic park as part of its final push to win the rights to host the 2024 Games.

Paris and US rival Los Angeles are the only two cities bidding to stage the 2024 Olympics, and the City of Lights is running a series of events over the weekend to promote its credentials.

Canoes and kayaks filled the Seine just outside Notre Dame cathedral, while the diver jumped into the river from one of the city's bridges.

"This is a great opportunity for us to give a taster of what the Games will be like here in 2024," said three-time Olympic canoe slalom champion Tony Estanguet, who is leading Paris' bid to host the event.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also turned up alongside Estanguet, with the two of them taking to the Seine in a kayak, not far from where sprinters pelted along a floating athletics track.

Paris last hosted the Olympics in 1924, following the 1900 edition, while Los Angeles has also held it twice - in 1932 and 1984.

 

In July 2005 in Singapore, London pipped an over-confident Paris, which had lost out to Beijing for the 2008 Games, to win the right to stage the 2012 Summer Olympics, triggering tears in the French camp when the results were announced.