PARIS (CBSLA.com/AP) — High-divers plunged into the River Seine, trampoline athletes somersaulted inside the Petit Palais art museum and runners raced on a floating track as Paris turned some of its world-famous landmarks over to sports on Friday in hopes of wowing the International Olympic Committee.
With Paris competing against Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympics, bid organizers hoped the two-day festival of more than 30 sports would help showcase the French capital’s suitability for the games.
Divers demonstrated their skills from boards installed on the Alexandre III bridge that spans the Seine, as kayakers also paddled on the river.
In the Petit Palais, trampoline athletes bounced skyward toward the museum’s ornate ceiling murals.
Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner and other French sports stars raced for fun in a 100-meter dash on a temporary track floating on the Seine.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the Olympic celebration is “a way to show how we want to party together, with the whole world, by welcoming the games. We hope so!”
But four people were injured, one seriously, when a double-decker sightseeing bus that took a detour to avoid the sports shows got stuck inside a tunnel, police and the bus company said.
On Saturday, Parisians were also being given an opportunity usually reserved for Tour de France racers: to pedal around the Arc de Triomphe without its frenetic vehicle traffic, which will be stopped for three hours.
Elsewhere, a climbing wall was installed inside the Pavillon de l’Arsenal museum of Paris architecture, for free use by the public. Also planned were demonstrations of an array of Olympic sports, including fencing, boxing, archery, gymnastics and others.
L.A. and Paris are the only two bidders left for the 2024 Games. Whichever city doesn’t get 2024 is expected to be awarded the 2028 Games.
At a crucial meeting in July, the IOC will likely decide to pick the 2024 and 2028 Olympic host cities at once — and then affirm it in a final vote in September in Lima, Peru. The only question would then be which city gets which games. Paris says it is bidding only for 2024.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the IOC is considering giving Paris the Olympics in 2024 and Los Angeles the Games in 2028.
According to the report, the move comes after several months of negotiations, and is dependent on the IOC and Los Angeles agreeing on enough incentives to spur the city to wait an extra four years to host the games.
In early May, members of the IOC’s Evaluation Commission were in L.A. to inspect stadiums and arenas that could become future Olympic venues.
The contest for the 2024 Games has been messy. The race began with five cities, but Rome, Hamburg and Budapest all pulled out.
The IOC is eager to keep costs in check after decades of runaway spending, and L.A. has made its lean budget a selling point.
The L.A. bid requires no new construction of permanent venues. It projects spending $5.3 billion, which would be around one-third of what Tokyo is expected to spend for 2020.
The commission will issue a report on July 5. The host cities will be able to make a formal presentation to IOC members during meetings July 11-12 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The IOC will make a final selection Sept. 13 during a meeting in Lima, Peru.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)