Middelkerke beach to become the Belgian sports hub for Paris 2024. COIB

It's where all the fans will gather and will be called the Olympic Festival. It will be equipped with giant screens to watch the competitions, shows, concerts, bars, sports activities and receptions for the athletes returning from the Olympic Games.

During the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the Olympic Festival on the beach of Middelkerke will be the common home of Belgian sport. On the improvised stage of Middelkerke, those who can't go to Paris will be able to follow the competitions. In the shadow of the new SILT casino building, the Olympic Festival will take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024. 

It will accommodate more than 2,000 spectators. It will be a kind of self-sustaining ecosystem, with the main competitions broadcast on giant screens, shows, concerts with DJs, a cosy beach bar, daily sports activities... And it will be the place to welcome the athletes returning from Paris 2024 after an outstanding performance. 

The programme includes an official inauguration with guests on the day of the Opening Ceremony and access will be free from 27 July. It is not just a static meeting place. It is also a place where you can take part in various sporting activities before watching the performances of the Belgian athletes in Paris on the giant screens installed in the beach bar.

The performances of Belgian athletes at Paris 2024 will be available for live streaming. GETTY IMAGES
The performances of Belgian athletes at Paris 2024 will be available for live streaming. GETTY IMAGES

The aim is for each day to be a celebration to promote the Olympic movement and the feeling of belonging. Admission to the Middelkerke Olympic Festival is free, with the exception of three highlights: Sunday afternoon 28 July, Saturday evening 3 August and Sunday evening 10 August, when renowned Belgian artists and DJs will perform. A ticket is required and it will be on sale soon. 

Jean-Michel Saive, President of the COIB, said: "As an Olympian who has had the honour of competing in the Olympic Games seven times, I know better than anyone the importance of the support of the fans, both in the Olympic stadium and in the country. The Olympic Festival promises to be an experience like no other." 

"After the success of Casa Rio during the Rio 2016 Games, we are delighted to be organising a second major Olympic event on the coast for the supporters of Team Belgium. I'd like to thank our partners, the Municipality of Middelkerke and Golazo, for their valuable contribution in making this unique event possible. Let's celebrate the Olympic spirit together. Let's be proud to support our Team Belgium athletes," he added.

Belgian medallists from Paris 2024 will be welcomed at Middelkerke Beach. GETTY IMAGES
Belgian medallists from Paris 2024 will be welcomed at Middelkerke Beach. GETTY IMAGES

Cédric Van Branteghem, CEO the of COIB, commented: "Together we will create a unique Olympic experience in our country. The Olympic Festival in Middelkerke will not only be a meeting point for Team Belgium fans, but also a living village where everyone can immerse themselves in the Olympic atmosphere for 16 days, practice different sports and live the successes of our Team Belgium athletes in Paris. We are looking forward to sharing this Olympic experience with everyone." 

The arrival of the Olympic Festival in Middelkerke is a fantastic summer present for the town's mayor, Jean-Marie Dedecker. It has a great personal value. "The Olympic Games are mythical. For everyone. I know the impact of the Olympic Games from my own experience, having taken part in five successive Olympic Games, from Los Angeles in 1984 to Sydney in 2000. These diplomas have a central place in my office," he stressed. 

The sports programme in Middelkerke will follow the competition schedule of Team Belgium in Paris as closely as possible in order to create an Olympic atmosphere. During the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, from ten in the morning until midnight, all Belgian fans will have a second home.