Sport in France
There are a lot of sports that the French love, including judo, football, tennis and rugby union. France has also hosted a lot of international sporting events like the FIFA World Cup (1938 and 1998), Rugby World Cup (2007) and the biggest cycling race, Tour de France.
There are also various tennis events that are held in France, the mainone the the French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tourneys. France also is one of the biggest proponents of the revival of the Olympic Games in the end of the 19th century.
Football is the most popular sport in France having 18,000 registered clubs that has a total of well over 1,800,000 players in their rosters. The French national football team names “Les Bleus” is one of the most successful team in the world with one FIFA World Cup (1998), one FIFA World Cup second place (2006), as well as two UEFA European Championships (1984 and 2000). France has also produced many record holders such as Zinedine Zidane who was awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year three times, Michel Paltini who is a three time recipient of the Ballon d'Or, Raymond Kopa who was the first football player to receive the Legion d'honneur, the all-time leading goalscorer of the national team Thierry Henry and the Just Fontaine who holds the record of most goals scored in a World Cup.
The French also love rugby union and have participated in every Rugby World Cup as well as the annual Six Nations Championships. They have won 16 Six Nations Championships that includes 8 grand slam victories. They have also reached the semi-finals of the Rugby Cup 6 times as well as 3 finals. Basketball is also quite popular and they have won the FIBA EuroBasket 2013 and have also taken two Olympic silver medals.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to France. See also the list the most popular internet searches for "sports" in France.
Popular sports of France (see more)
Traditional or Regional Sports
- TREC — a French equestrian sport in which the objective is to test the endurance of both the horse and the rider.
- Canne de Combat — a French martial art in which opponents battle each other inside a ring with a cane in one hand.
- La Soule — a traditional team sport that originated in Normandy and Picardy. Usually teams from neighboring parishes played, with the aim of the game to bring the ball back to the team's parish church, with or without the use of sticks. Also known as Choule.
- Jeu Provençal — a popular French form of Boules, where the objective is to throw a set of hollow metal balls as close as possible to a target ball. Also known as Boule Lyonnaise.
- Pétanque — a type of boules in which the objective is to throw hollow metal balls towards a small wooden target ball.
France Sporting Success
Athletes from France
- Marie Jose-Perac (Athletics)
- Zinedine Zidane (football)
- Amélie Mauresmo (Tennis)
France Sports trivia
- The 1900 Olympic Games was the only Olympics where cricket was played, and it featured a match between England and France.
France at major events
- France at the Summer Olympics
- France at the Winter Olympics
- France at the FIFA World Cup
- France at the Rugby World Cup
- France women's football team at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in France
- 1900 Olympic Games Summer Hosts in Paris and 1924 Paris.
- 1924 Olympic Games: Chamonix Winter Olympics and the Paris Summer Olympics.
- 1938 FIFA World Cup was hosted in France
- 1960 UEFA European (Euro) Football Championship
- 1968 Winter Olympic Games hosts in Grenoble
- 1984 UEFA European (Euro) Football Championship
- 1991 Rugby World Cup hosted in UK and France.
- 1992 Winter Olympic Games hosts in Albertville.
- 1998 FIFA World Cup was hosted in France
- 2007 Rugby World Cup.
- 2013 World Military Games held in Annecy / Chamonix.
- 2016 UEFA European (Euro) Football Championship
- 2018 Ryder Cup at the Le Golf National, Albatross Course, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.
Upcoming sporting events in France
- 2020 European Athletics Championships, Paris
- 2021 World Cycling Track Championships in Roubaix
- 2022 World Cycling Track Championships in Montigny-le-Bretonneux
- 2023 Rugby World Cup
- 2024 Olympic Games in Paris
- 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris
Annual sporting events held in France
- French Open (tennis)
- Tour de France (cycling)
- 24 Hours of Le Mans / 24 Heures du Mans (motorsports)
- Ligue 1, the top level football league in France
Sporting Facilities in France
- Circuit de la Sarthe - site of the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race. It has a capacity of 263,500.
- Vincennes Velodrome — Paris cycling velodrome and main stadium for the 1900 Olympic Games
- Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir — main stadium for the 1924 Olympic Games.
- Stade de France — main stadium for the 2024 Olympic Games.
- INSEP: The National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (Institut national du sport et de l'éducation physique)
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