Athletics can be found at both the professional and casual level. While football and cycling dominate the professional arena, tennis, Formula-One car racing, horse racing, are also popular.
Football (soccer) is the country's premier sport. There are many local teams as well as a French national team. France national football team, Équipe de France, represents the nation of France in international football. The team's traditional colours are blue, white and red (the colors of the national flag of France) known as the drapeau tricolore. The country's team is known as Les Bleus (The Blues). The team is fielded by the French Football Federation, Fédération Française de Football.
France's most well-known sport may be cycling. The Tour de France is a world famous event that happens in the nation's capitol every year. The La Fédération française de Cyclisme is the administrator of cycling in France.
There are several major tennis tournaments in France including the French Open and the Roland Garros Tennis Tournament. The Fédération française de Tennis is the overarching administrative body for events.
Formula One Racing is an internationally publicized sport. The sport of Grand Prix motor racing originated in France and the French Grand Prix is a race held as part of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile's annual Formula One automobile racing championships. The event was temporarily called off, but is set to return in 2013. It is the oldest Grand Prix race, first run on June 26th, 1906.
France's national rugby union team is organized by the Fédération Française de Rugby. Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by the British and they are now one of the top teams in the world. France traditionally play in blue shirts with white shorts and red socks, and are commonly referred to as less tricolores or less bleus.
Tennis is popular among the pros and the casual players in France. A specialty is the terre battue (clay courts). Temporary membership is usually available at the local clubs. The French Tennis Federation (FFT) is charged with developing and promoting tennis in France. Public courts within Paris.
Rollerblading is popular and on Sundays in Paris people can enjoy central quais of the Seine and the Canal St-Martin that are closed to automobiles.
Paris has over 60 miles of cycling lanes. It is not only a form of entertainment and exercise, it is a great way to travel around Paris. There is a strong community of cyclists with bicycle rental shops, meetings, and forums. In addition, bike sharing is popular with the Velib system.
Boules is a classic game played with metal balls and a wooden marker. The aim is to get large balls close to the small ones called "jack". The game can be played in any open space, such as the beautiful city parks and gardens.
Some pools are open year round, but swimming is most popular in the warm summer months. Public pools are clean, comfortable and usually cheap. Entry prices vary according to the location of the pool and the facilities, but most are between 2 to 5 euros (monthly or year subscriptions are also available). Listing of pools.
Although Parisians are generally more ambivalent about working out than cities like NYC, Paris has a growing number and variety of gyms to choose from. There are state-of-the-art facilities and excellent classes. Expect to pay membership fees of at least €60/month.
Tour de France - July is the month of one of the most well known cycling events in the world. The route takes rides through France and finishes on the Champs-Élysées.
The Paris Marathon - This prestigious race is one part of the series that forms the biennial World Marathon Majors series. Founded by the former Olympic champion and renowned journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley, it is held each spring. This marathon holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world.
Roland Garros Tennis Tournament (French Open) - Formally known as Les internationaux de France de Roland-Garros, the event is held in June before Wimbledon in London.
Six Nations Rugby Tournament - France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy compete in this tournament.
Stade de France
The Stade de France was the venue of the 1998 Soccer World Cup final and Rugby 2007 World Cup final. It has a capacity of 80,000, making it the eighth largest stadium in Europe.
Le Stade de Roland Garros
This site hosts the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament. It is the leading clay court tennis Grand Slam and is considered to be highly strenuous tournament. The 21-acre (8.5-hectare) complex contains twenty courts.
This venue hosts all manner of sporting events like athletics, cycling, handball, show-jumping, ice-hockey, ballroom, dancing, judo and motor-cross. It has the capacity to hold a maximum of 17, 000 people.