(ATR) The Chateau de Versailles, one of France's biggest tourist attractions, will be the site of jumping, dressage and eventing at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Chateau de Versailles (Paris 2024)
The announcement Friday follows meetings between FEI president Ingmar De Vos and his counterpart at the French Equestrian Federation, Serge Lecomte, and Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet.
Discussions were part of a project review undertaken by the IOC in conjunction with Paris 2024 and the FEI as well as other federations aimed at shaving costs across Olympic plans where possible.
"The project is exactly the same as during the bid. There has been no change," a Paris 2024 spokesman tells Around the Rings
The Chateau de Versailles is a royal palace about 20km from the center of Paris. With its majestic buildings and gardens, it was the first monument in France to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
“It’s a venue choice that symbolises everything we want these Games to offer: incredible events, where sport takes place at the heart of iconic cultural locations, to help share the passion and values of sport and Olympism like never before,” said Estanguet.
FEI chief De Vos described Versailles as “a jewel of the Paris 2024 concept”.
He said the venue “offers an exceptional opportunity to showcase the best of equestrian sport in a globally iconic setting, while also guaranteeing a unique experience for our athletes and spectators”.
Chateau de Versailles became a royal compound under the reign of Louis XIV, who relocated his court there in 1682. Since 1833, Chateau de Versailles has been a national museum open to the public. It accommodates over six million visitors per year.
The Etoile Royale, a circular esplanade on the west end of the 1,500-meter long Grand Canal, will be the location of the temporary arena that will host equestrian dressage and jumping events, including those elements of the eventing competition, as well as the riding event of Modern Pentathlon at the Paris 2024 Games.
The arena will also host equestrian dressage events for the Paralympics. The cross-country phase of the eventing competition, along with the combined event of Modern Pentathlon, will also take place in the tree-lined paths surrounding the Grand Canal, with the start and finish at the Etoile Royale.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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