If the Olympic village will welcome more than 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes during the Paris Games, some athletes will lead the life of a castle.

The Olympic Village is an institution of the Olympic Games. Since the 1924 Paris Games, the construction of an Olympic village has been one of the main investments of the organizing committees. Since the 1952 Games, the decision was made to make the Olympic Village a permanent infrastructure, allowing the city hosting the Games to transform this village into private housing once the competition is over.

For the Paris 2024 Games, the Olympic village will be located in the town of Saint-Denis, near the island of Saint-Denis. It should make it possible to house the 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes during competitions, before being converted into 3,500 housing units capable of accommodating 6,000 people.

However, not all delegations will stay in the Olympic village. For organizational reasons, certain federations have chosen to accommodate their athletes outside the village. This is particularly the case for the French cycling team. Led by its coach Thomas Voeckler, the four riders who will form the road selection for the Games will therefore be housed in Yvelines, in Tremblay-sur-Mauldre, in a… 17th century castle. Made up of 55 rooms and a 40-hectare park, the castle will be the residence of the entire cycling team, including track and mountain bikers, as well as participants in BMX events.

Florian Rousseau, the director of the FFC Olympic program, justifies this choice by the desire to see “a French Olympic cycling team brought together and not split up in Yvelines”. The department will indeed host both track and BMX events at the national velodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines as well as mountain biking at the Elancourt hill.

On the other hand, with this choice, road cycling training moves away from the courses of women’s and men’s races. Indeed, both events will start and finish at the Trocadéro. Thomas Voeckler’s protégés, on the other hand, will be close to the course, the loop of which winds mainly through the Yvelines before returning to Paris for a three-lap circuit on the Montmartre hill. The end of the route takes cyclists back towards the Trocadéro.

The cycling delegation is not the only one staying outside the Olympic village. For the same reasons of practicality, the rowing federation decided to set up near the Olympic nautical stadium of Vaires-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne). Basketball has also moved away from Paris, while the preliminary round matches will be held in Lille. Boris Diaw, the manager of the French team, explained when announcing this decision that it was difficult to allow all the staff of a team sport selection to enter the Olympic village.