The figures relating to the Olympic village, which will be inaugurated between the end of February and the beginning of March, give an idea of ​​the scale of the Games. In the immediate vicinity of Paris, straddling the municipalities of Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen and L’Île-Saint-Denis, the site extends over an area of ​​52 hectares, less than two kilometers from the Stade de France. Epicenter of the Games, it will house up to 14,500 athletes (with their staff) from 206 countries.

No later than March 1, the Paris 2024 organizing committee (Cojop) will collect the keys to the 3,000 apartments from the developers, and begin installing furniture, Wi-Fi, etc. “This represents 14,000 beds and as many bedside tables,” explains Laurent Michaud, director of the Olympic and Paralympic villages at Paris 2024. “There will be two athletes per 12 m2 room, and a bathroom for four people. Everyone will be in the same boat. »

From July 26 to August 11 (then from August 28 to September 8 for the Paralympic Games), the village will operate as a small pop-up town. And its residents will have access to a multitude of services, in particular thanks to the agreements concluded by the organizing committee with some of its sponsors.

“Our sixty partners contribute more than a third to the financing of the Games, the equivalent of 1.24 billion euros. Within one or two percent, this budget is closed,” explains François-Xavier Bonnaillie, senior director of business development and partnership for Paris 2024.

Up to 40,000 meals and snacks per day

Part of the financing provided by these companies takes the form of services. Which is also a way for them to take advantage of the Olympic media window to showcase their know-how on a global scale. “This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight our brand and demonstrate our expertise in local commerce,” confirms a manager of the Carrefour group, which will create a 200 m2 mini-market in the village, open September days a week.

The Accor group will take care of the concierge and room services (maintenance and cleaning) of the village, i.e. 14,300 beds grouped into 71 residences. In order to help athletes find their way around a site as large as 70 football fields, the hotel giant will also manage the residents’ information center.

Sodexo Live!, the branch of the Sodexo group dedicated to catering in the events sector, will be responsible for feeding the occupants of the village. Under the gigantic nave of the Cité du cinéma, created by Luc Besson, the village restaurant will be inaugurated in June, which will serve up to 40,000 meals and snacks per day, and will be open almost constantly.

“It will be, in the space of a few weeks, the largest restaurant in the world!” enthuses Charles Guilloy, executive chef of the Olympic Village at Sodexo Lives!. We are going to offer athletes from all over the world a tailor-made catering offer, taking into account their dietary constraints, which is a challenge. »

“An athlete’s priority is to eat well and sleep well”

With the help of three renowned chefs (Akrame Benallal, Amandine Chaignot, Alexandre Mazzia) and the expertise of nutritionists, 500 recipes were developed with the aim of “celebrating French gastronomy”. Chef of the Parisian restaurant Pouliche, Amandine Chaignot has imagined a “poultry with crayfish accompanied by potato gnocchi, chicken sauce”.

“An athlete’s priority is to eat well and sleep well in order to maintain their energy for the competition. This is why we chose to install the restaurant in the nave, in the center of the village,” confides Laurent Michaud.

In addition to the 3,500 seats under the nave, the village will offer six takeaway food outlets, each with a culinary theme (“France”, “Asia”, “Afro-Caribbean cuisine”, etc.). A thousand Sodexo employees will be assigned to the village. The group has just launched a vast recruitment campaign, as it plans to deploy 6,000 people across all sites.

Carrefour anticipates the delivery of more than 600,000 tonnes of products to the village restaurant. The distributor will notably supply fresh and organic products (fruits, vegetables, cereal products, meat, fish and seafood). In addition, Danone will provide fresh dairy products of plant origin. “We will distribute more than a million units of our products to Olympic and Paralympic athletes,” explains Simon Van de Steene, director of the Paris 2024 project at Danone.

A third of the village’s catering offering will be entirely plant-based. Present in France since 2016, Garden Gourmet, a Nestlé subsidiary specializing in plant-based products (vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc.), will offer athletes chickpea and beetroot falafels, vegan burgers made from pineapple proteins. soy and wheat and other vegan sausages and nuggets.

Twenty-four hour care

The village will also have a hairdressing salon, a police station and a (symbolic) town hall. A fitness room will be installed in the Maxwell Hall, a former power station built in 1907 and renovated by Vinci, another Games partner. The fencing training sites will be installed in the Cité du cinéma studios, so fencers will be able to get there on foot.

A temporary polyclinic of 3,000 m2 will be created in another old building, the Dahnier osteopathy school, where 250 health professionals (doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, etc.) will operate daily. Athletes will be able to go there twenty-four hours a day to have their teeth treated, consult an ophthalmologist, have an MRI or take cold baths. During the Paralympic Games, a repair center for orthotics, prosthetics and wheelchairs will be open. All completely free.

Finally, La Poste will open a temporary agency within the village. In this office, also open seven days a week, customers will be able to post their mail and packages, but also purchase the collector’s stamps and medals from the Mint of Paris which will be issued for the Games.

Unfortunately, the chances of seeing LeBron James queuing to send his mother postcards from the Eiffel Tower are low since the American basketball players have chosen to reside in luxury hotels in the capital rather than in the athletes’ village. .