A general view shows the Olympic village "Olympium" during its inauguration in Villeneuve d'Ascq near Lille in the north of France. GETTY IMAGES

Nearly 500 rooms, beds 2.20 meters long: the Lille Olympic Village, which will host the basketball and handball delegations during the Olympic Games, has been inaugurated in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France. 

As a reminder, the basketball (27 July - 4 August) and handball (6 - 11 August) events will take place in the North during the 2024 Olympic Games (26 July - 11 August). From September, the 495-room Olympic Village will be shared between student accommodation and a training centre for athletes.

Thirty-six first-round basketball games (27 July to 4 August) and 16 handball finals (6 to 11 August) will be played at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium, just a few minutes' drive from the "Olympium" residence. 

With just over a month to go before the opening ceremony on 26 July, not all the rooms are ready. But this inauguration means that "there will be no more delays in the residence" and that "there are no more problems that can disrupt us", Yannick Le Borgne, the official in charge of organising the Olympic events in Lille, told AFP.

During the Games, the French men's and women's handball teams will be staying in the Olympic Village from the quarter-finals onwards (if they qualify), as will the French women's basketball team during the preliminary round, confirmed Damien Castelain, who expressed his "regret" that the French men's basketball team will not be doing the same. "They'll regret it because they haven't seen the site," he smiled. The American basketball team - and its NBA stars - will also be absent.

The Olympic Village, which has 495 rooms ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments and 550 beds, will be shared from September between student accommodation and a training centre for athletes from the metropolitan area. In particular, Damien Castelain hopes to attract top club athletes from the region.

The Villeneuve d'Ascq women's basketball club, the current French champions, and the Marcq-en-Barœul men's rugby club, which narrowly missed promotion to the third tier last season, are just a few hundred metres from the residence.