Keeping fit: Paris goes the extra mile for athletes
Because Paris is not only the Capital of Culture and Fine Arts, because Paris is also the city of the Sport, we are taking you on a tour to discover the "sporting Paris" !
What sports are on offer in Paris?
Some impressions are hard to shake off, such as the idea that because one lives in a city like Paris sport is inaccessible, unaffordable and impossible to be enjoyed in a beautiful setting. Happily, the opposite is true. Paris is full of sporting venues, swimming pools, stadiums, grounds and equipment for indoor and outdoor sports. Almost all sports are represented in the capital - team sports, such as football, rugby, and volleyball; individual sports, such as dancing, tennis, golf, and parkour; and outdoor activities like yoga, gymnastics or athletics. Numerous associations also allow keen walkers and hikers to meet up to walk around the city on foot or by bicycle.
How and where can one find fitness activities in Paris?
You can easily integrate sport into your daily routine starting with a bike at one of the many Vélib' public terminals. This simple and inexpensive practice helps to maintain fitness levels whilst offering an ecological alternative to travel by subway or car. Those who prefer to participate in several different sports will find many like-minded enthusiasts at the grounds and venues available in the city, or in the many skate and roller parks. It is also very easy to do sports in groups, thanks to organised dances and outdoor lessons in yoga, Zumba, boxing or fitness, that are found in parks and leisure centres. To attend, you only have to register in advance, for example, for the time-table of sporting events in Paris on a Sunday morning. Water-sports enthusiasts also have plenty of opportunities to indulge their passion as the Base Nautique de la Villette offers sessions with instructors.
How the urban environment is adapting to sport
Each year, the city of Paris is increasing the number of urban facilities for sports, so that its residents can participate in the best conditions, in a calm environment and protected from traffic. New cycle paths are being trialled along the Bourdon Boulevard and the port de l'Arsenal, and should, hopefully, cover all Paris by 2020. The left bank of the Seine and the hotel district of the Quai Henri IV already offer multiple sports workshops. However, the new developments on the right bank, starting from the Tuileries to the Arsenal, also promise to deliver a large promenade for walking, interspersed with games, a fitness trail and small athletics tracks.
Sporting events in Paris
Paris is a city that hosts many world tournaments, many of which are now of symbolic importance and are held in emblematic places of the capital. I must mention the famous Roland Garros stadium, which hosts the Internationaux de France with the greatest tennis champions on clay courts. I should also acknowledge the Champs-Elysees, which regularly serves as the arrival point in the Tour de France, the most prestigious cycling race in the world; and the Stade de France, the largest French football stadium; or the Parc des Princes, the home pitch of the legendary club Paris-Saint-Germain. For runners, the Paris marathon is also one of the major events of the year.
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