Czech National House in La Villette ready to pull out all the stops at the Paris Summer Olympics

Blanka Konečná and Jiří Kejval from Czech Olympic Committee

With just over three months to go to the Summer Olympics in Paris, work on the Czech Olympics House is in full swing. Where will it be and what can visitors expect?

The popular La Villette park on the north-eastern suburbs of Paris is set to become a hot spot of the summer Olympics. Rather than having national Olympics houses scattered around the capital, the French Olympics Committee has decided to place 15 of them in one location – Parc de la Villette –a popular venue for walks, picnics and street artists. The massive venue of over 20,000 square metres will now become a melting pot of different cultures where athletes and fans alike will come together to celebrate their victories and cheer on fellow athletes. Aside from the hosts, Club France, La Villette will be home to the national houses of Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil, New Zealand, Portugal, Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia, among others.

Photo: Anne Jea.,  Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED

Special projects manager of the Czech Olympics Committee, Blanka Konečna, says Czechia had the honour of first pickings.

“We chose an area in La Villette that is called Cabaret Savage. The place is evocative of a French cabaret and it has an inner and outer space, which we consider really attractive. And we want to make full use of the potential to create an artistic and hospitable space that is evocative of Czechia, where sportspeople and Czech fans will feel at home and visitors will get a taste of our gastronomy, art, culture and tourist attractions. The place will be like a small sporting Expo because in addition to celebrating sports, it is also our aim to present the Czech Republic.”

Visitors will be able to watch the games on some of the many giant screens set up throughout the park and the national houses will vie for their attention, presenting the best that the given country’s culture and cuisine has to offer. Blanka Konečna says the Czechs have one attraction that visitors will find it hard to resist –Czech beer.

Photo: Paris 2024

“This year we wanted to do things a bit differently, so in addition to the traditional Czech lagers we will be presenting a wide variety of craft beers from around the country –the best that the country’s mini breweries have to offer. A sort of Tour de Czech Republic in beer. It will be a gastro feast as well and in addition to the traditional Czech food specialties, we will be baking the unique Czech bread that you cannot buy anywhere else and that Czechs crave when they are far from home. We plan to showcase some of the country’s famous products such as crystal glass and will give visitors a glimpse of an exhibition called Sport in Art that will be on show at the Czech Cultural Centre close by.”

Work on the Czech Olympics House is gathering speed. In the 2012 London Olympics and the Pyongyang Olympics in 2018 the Czech National House was voted the best house of all the states represented. And the organizers say the will pull out all the stops this summer to defend that reputation.

Authors: Daniela Lazarová , Ladislav Hampl | Source: Český rozhlas
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