5 things we learned about the Olympic archery venue for Paris 2024

The Paris 2024 Olympic test event.

The archery competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place on the Esplanade des Invalides, a large space in front of the iconic 17th century Hotel des Invalides in the centre of the French capital.

For the first time ever, the fourth stage of the 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup doubled up as a test event for the Games.

(Previously, test events have been held as standalone tournaments.)

Archers who made the finals in Paris got the first chance to compete in the venue – albeit a slightly smaller version – that will be used for the next Olympics.

1. It’s central

In the very centre of Paris, Invalides is over the bridge from the city’s famous Grand Palais and right next to the Seine, which will host the ambitious open-air opening ceremony at the next Olympics. Not since Athens 2004 (when archery took place at the Panathanaikos Stadium) has the sport been so centrally located during a Games.

2. The view

France’s most recognisable landmark, the Eiffel Tower, can be seen from the buildings on the west of the park. The stands, which will be 10 times larger at the Games compared to the test event, will probably have a good view of the famous construction, too.

3. Atmosphere

Lisa Barbelin’s surprise final four appearance at the test event gave some indication of just how loud the crowd will be next summer – even at only one-tenth capacity.

“I never experienced something like that,” she said afterwards. “Everybody was cheering, so many people were here to watch beautiful archery. Normally it’s very stressful but that day was huge. One of my favourite moments in archery. I can’t wait until Paris 2024!”

It’s a welcome return for the largest of all audiences after the spectator-less events in Tokyo.

4. Combined venue

As was the case at the Games in Rio and Athens, the archery venue will transform into a marathon stadium in Paris. The arrows will be long gone – but on the closing days of the Olympics, the Invalides will host the finish line for the long-distance race.

The cycling time trial will start in the spectator entrance, and several mass participation and Paralympic sports will visit the venue. No small feat for the staff making it happen!

All this activity means it’s a big, very spread out venue – and the qualification and practice field, which wasn’t tested this time, will be constructed behind the safety wall of the finals arena – meaning athletes will need to carefully time their movements for optimum performance on the competition field.

5. The challenge

The archery events at the last Olympics in Tokyo took place in a temporary venue constructed in a park on a reclaimed landfill – purposefully flat. It’s much more difficult for organisers in Paris, who have to contest with the undulating park, road system, trees and unevenness of one of the world’s oldest cities when building their temporary installation.

If the test event is anything to go by, however, then it’ll be worth it. The venue at Invalides is going to be beautiful.

The archery competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will start on 25 July.