On Sunday, October 8th, the heart of Paris, Place de la Republique, witnessed tens of thousands of individuals embracing the world of Para sports. The event marked a significant celebration as Paris, with less than one year to go until the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, hosted a grand-scale Paralympic Day.
Eight French athletes supported by Fédération Française du Sport Adapté – FFSA, Charles Antoine Kouakou, Gloria Agblemagnon, Lucas Créange, Antoine Zhao, Timothé Ivaldi, Assya Maurin Espiau, Ceuzinha Gomez SA and Nathan Maillet became the flag bearer for athletes with intellectual impairments at the celebration.
Tokyo 2020 Bronze medalist, Lucas Créange engaged in a friendly match with the French President Emmanuel Macron and numerous other audience who came to experience the Paralympic Day in the french capital. Antoine Zhao and Timothé Ivaldi also played matches with the partner of the JOP Paris 2024 and Credit Cooperative of the BPCE group.
The President of the CPSF Marie Amélie Le Fur presented the Paris 2024 ticket to Gloria Agblemagnon and President of the Republic presented the same to Charles-Antoines Kouakou. Both will be competing in field and track events respectively at Paris 2024.
On October 9th, President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the GG2023 medalists from the French team and the governing board of FFSA at the Palais de l’Elysée for a special meet and greet. President Macron praised and recognized the achievements of French athletes at the recent Virtus Global Games 2023, Vichy France.
189 médailles aux Virtus Global Games, c’est un triomphe ! Une fierté de la Nation.
Par vos performances, vous changez les regards sur le handicap. Le chemin est encore long, mais il l'est un peu moins grâce à vous.
Vous êtes des exemples pour nous tous. pic.twitter.com/gKWoMHUTf5
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 9, 2023
The athletes also signed hundreds of autographs to audience of all ages who came to discover and cheers for the Paralympic athletes during the autograph sessions. A huge crowd enthusiastically gathered around athletes, eager to snap selfies and convey their excitement in anticipation of France’s inaugural summer Paralympics.