Thank You, Visionary France
The French people are among most avid athletes and adventurers in the world – and they have long supported athletics since Baron Pierre de Coubertin promoted the introduction of sport in French schools and founded of the International Olympic Committee and the modern-day Olympic Games.
The French authorities have really stepped up in the extreme sports world, supporting both the 2023 Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Nice in October and the IISA 5th World Championship in Samoēns, and creating the first point-to-point Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in history.
From the grueling and dramatic full triathlon and the nearly incomprehensible aquatic discipline of ice swimming, to the majesty and excitement of hosting a straight-line Olympic final in the river Seine through central Paris, the French are visionary in producing and partnering with administrators at the World Triathlon Corporation, the International Ice Swimming Association, and World Aquatics Technical Open Water Swimming Committee.
The French Swimming Federation signed an affiliation agreement with IISA in 2022. Chairman Ram Barkai reported, “The French have been a great supporter of the event, using their resources to assist in developing the event and and providing IISA with professional Chief Referee Denis Cadon who will also serve as the World Aquatics liaison at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”
The 5th IISA World Championship has attracted almost 500 swimmers from 42 countries to its ski resort town, organized by the local tourism office in Samoëns, headed by its Director Bruno Cherblanc. Swimmers from as far away as South Africa, New Zealand, Mongolia, Israel, Morocco, Iceland, Ukraine, Canada, USA, Chile, and Argentina are in their taper phase. They will be joined by most countries in Europe.
The World Triathlon Corporation announced that Nice, France will be the co-host of the 2023 IRONMAN World Championships where the professional and age-group men will compete on September 10th. Nice is sharing the co-host duties with Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where the professional and age-group women will compete on October 14th.
“In 2022, we saw the power of a two-day IRONMAN World Championship, one with dedicated race days for professional women and professional men. We believe in this concept not only to showcase the depth of both the women’s and men’s fields but also to invest further into the growth of the sport of triathlon. Nice, France, as the European birthplace of long-course triathlon, is the right place to showcase this evolution,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group.
Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
The Pont Alexandre III is a bridge that spans the Seine, connecting the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city and has been classified as a French monument historique since 1975.
The women’s 10 km marathon swim will be held on August 8th and the men’s 10 km marathon swim final will be held on August 9th. Both races will start at 7:30 am local time.
Throughout the history of the Olympic Games, swimming events have been held in the following open bodies of water:
- 1896 Athens Olympics (Games of the I Olympiad): Bay of Zea off the Piraeus coast in the Aegean Sea of Greece
- 1900 Paris Olympics (Games of the III Olympiad): River Seine in Paris, France
- 1904 St. Louis Olympics (Games of the III Olympiad): Man-made pond near Skinker and Wydown Boulevards in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
- 1906 Athens Intercalated Games: Neo Phaliron Bay off the coast of Athens, Greece
- 2008 Beijing Olympics (Games of the XXIX Olympiad): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park (顺义奥林匹克水上公园 or 順義奧林匹克水上公園 in Chinese), outside Beijing, China
- 2012 London Olympics (Games of the XXX Olympiad): Serpentine in London, UK
- 2016 Rio Olympics (Games of the XXXI Olympiad): Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 2020 Tokyo Olympics (Games of the XXXII Olympiad): Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay, Japan
- 2024 Paris Olympics (Games of the XXXIII Olympiad): River Seine with the Eiffel Tower as a dramatic backdrop.
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