Breaking: the most artistic
How about dancing in Paris this summer? Barely five years after being recognised as a top-level sport in France, "breaking" is preparing to make its triumphant entry into the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. And not just anywhere. The 32 qualified athletes - 16 B-girls and 16 B-boys - will compete on the iconic Place de la Concorde on 9 and 10 August. Popularised in the United States in the 1990s, this new discipline, halfway between art, dance and music, is inspired by hip-hop. Breakers have a single mission: to impress the jury by performing acrobatic moves to the beat of a DJ.
Where to practice?
Do you like the show? All you have to do is join a dance club and, who knows, you might even take part in the next Olympics.
Skateboarding: the most urban
Who will follow in the footsteps of Momiji Nishiya, the first Olympic skateboarding champion, who was crowned at the last Games at the age of 13? The answer will be revealed on 27 and 28 July 2024 for the Street event and on 6 and 7 August for the Park event on the Place de la Concorde, which will be transformed into a temple of urban sports for the Paris Games. Speed, technique, mastery of the board and amplitude will be required to successfully perform the most beautiful tricks. A symbol of freedom and rebellion, often identified with the underground movement of the 1980s, skateboarding is very popular with young people in search of adrenaline... Born on the other side of the Atlantic in the 1950s, this new sport has found its place in France with more than 3,000 licensed skaters.
Where to practice
Before taming the cobblestones of public squares, staircases or skate parks, it's best to start in one of the thousand clubs affiliated to the Fédération Française de Roller et de Skateboard, where you'll be supervised by qualified instructors and equipped with helmets, knee and elbow pads...
Surfing: the most tonic
24 surfers are preparing to challenge the Teahupo'o Rollers in 2024. This paradise of crystal clear waters and tropical vegetation is famous for its wave, one of the most impressive in the world, reaching heights of 2, 3 and even 7 metres. But it's the swell that breaks over the shallow reefs of Tahiti, French Polynesia that athletes fear the most. A succession of figures, speed, power, flow (rhythm), the show promises to be magnificent!
Included in the Olympic programme from 2020, surfing has more than 35 million fans worldwide, including 80,000 licence holders in France, most of them young. And there's every chance that this number will increase after the Paris Games...
Where to surf?
With 20,000 km of coastline, France has no shortage of surfing spots. Starting with the Atlantic coast, with famous spots such as Biarritz in the Basque country, Hossegor, Lacanau near Bordeaux and La Torche in Brittany. All accessible by train from Paris, where you can learn to surf or improve your skills at a surf club, surf school or surf camp with accommodation.
Sport climbing: the most aerial
Faster, higher, stronger: the Olympic motto could not be better applied to sport climbing, one of the new sports on the programme for the 2020 Games. Close to the Stade de France and the Aquatic Centre, the epicentre of the Paris Games, the Parc sportif et scolaire du Bourget, renovated for the occasion, will host the speed and bouldering/difficulty combined events. The challenges awaiting the world's most talented climbers from 5 to 10 August 2024 will include scaling a 15 metre wall in less than 6 seconds or in 6 minutes without knowing the route, or climbing a 4.5 metre wall without a rope...
Spectacular to watch, this new popular and universal sport has attracted 25 million people, mainly young people, in almost 150 countries. France is no exception, with more than 100,000 members. And the craze is not new: one of the first climbing competitions took place in Vaulx-en-Velin, near Lyon, in 1986.
Where to go climbing?
With its exceptional topography, France is a great place for outdoor sport climbing, with a number of emblematic sites: the Calanques in Marseille, the Gorges du Verdon, the cliffs of Buoux or the Annot site in Provence, the Céüse mountain in the southern Alps, Pen-Hir in Brittany or Fontainebleau near Paris. If you fancy an adventure, visit the website of the French Mountaineering and Climbing Federation to find a club and a climbing area.