The achievements of Czech athletes are usually celebrated in Prague’s Old Town Square, but during the Paris Summer Olympics, the Most will become the center of celebrations. The Olympic Festival will take place on the banks of the lake of the same name, where visitors can try different sports, cheer on the Olympians on big screens and meet the top performers in person.
“Prague airport is a short distance from Most, so after a successful performance in Paris, the athletes will return directly here. A gate of glory will be prepared for them, as it was in ancient times. And I I believe we will all benefit from it together,” says Libor Varhaník, vice-president of the Czech Olympic Committee.
So far, 48 sports associations have expressed interest in participating in the Olympic Festival, which is now the largest in history. “We especially wanted to have a lot of water sports here, so it will be possible to try rowing, speed canoeing, dragon boats. But there will also be classic sports like athletics, basketball , volleyball and football,” adds Varhaník.
Volleyball and football will also be presented here in a beach version, and a new playing field will also be created there. And after the event, it will stay here, just like the skatepark. The bridge is famous for its autodrome, and the organizers have also thought of this. “It will be possible to drive in a buggy by the lake, we are trying to have a car that will participate in the Dakar Rally all the way to the autodrome. To make it an extraordinary experience,” explains Varhaník.
The goal is to get children moving
Everything is designed so that the festival is at the same time a gigantic recruitment event. “The festival should make it possible to get children into regular physical activity,” hopes the former athlete. This is also why a modern sport like skateboarding will be represented here. And besides that, for example, archery, which is on a good path after the unexpected triumph of Maria Horáčková at the World Championships. “And surely, thanks to the success at the Olympics, it will experience a sporting boom again, as was the case with curling last time,” Varhaník recalled about the Paul couple’s success in Beijing.
Bridge to Paris is the slogan of the festival, they tried to organize it near Hněvín four years ago, but they only succeeded now. “Even then, we loved the lake very much, but the infrastructure was not yet finished. Today, the hundred million dollar investment is visible every moment. Many people who have never been here before will be pleasantly surprised by the appearance of this place. We wanted to bring the festival back to where there is water, it gives it a completely different dimension,” explained Varhaník.
The festival will last 17 days, from July 26 to August 11, 2024. Just like the games in Paris.
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