The route of the Olympic flame in France, before the Paris Games (July 26 to August 11, 2024), will begin in the spring of 2024 in Marseille, the first stage of its journey across the country, the organizers announced on Friday.
“It was a fairly natural and obvious choice,” Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris Olympics organizing committee (Cojo), told AFP, hailing a city “passionate about sport, warm, popular and multicultural”. and also evoking Marseille’s link with Greece, the Massalia colony having been founded by Greeks around 600 BC
During the Games, Marseille will host the sailing events as well as ten matches of the women’s and men’s football tournaments, at the Stade Vélodrome.
The complete journey of the flame to Paris, after its arrival in Marseille, should be announced at the end of May, just over a year from the Games, said Tony Estanguet.
The flame will arrive in the spring of 2024 in Marseille aboard the Bélem, one of the oldest three-masters in Europe still sailing, after a ten-day crossing from Greece, where, as in each edition of the Games, it will have previously been lit during a ceremony at Olympia.
“After being welcomed on the French coast by an armada of boats, the Bélem will moor, kicking off a great popular celebration on the quays of the city”, the organizers further announced in a press release.
“In sport, to succeed, we often say that you have to get off to a good start, that’s why it’s important for us that it’s a great popular celebration,” added Tony Estanguet.
“Marseille was founded by Greeks who came from Phocaea 2,600 years ago: by asking to welcome the flame to our shores, we wanted to reconnect with this great history of sharing, fraternity, diversity and solidarity”, welcomed the DVG mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan, quoted in a press release.