On Friday, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games organizing committee announced that the Olympic Flame will be lit on April 16 next year.
The Olympic flame will then be taken to various prominent sites across France until it reaches Paris where the flame will be used to light a cauldron, officially marking the beginning of the 2024 games. The final destination for the flame has not yet been announced, but many expect that it will be the Eiffel Tower.
Sur la Route de #Paris2024
Le Relais de la Flamme Olympique fera briller nos territoires !
Voici le parcours de 68 jours de fête et de célébrations en France.
Pour plus de détails sur les villes traversées, on passe le relais aux départements 👇 pic.twitter.com/u4uLKjlH0n
— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) June 23, 2023
Olympic flame to be lit for Paris 2024 Games
The journey of the Olympic flame will begin at the Temple of Hera at the site of Olympia where a special lighting ceremony will be held. This ceremony, which always takes place before the Olympic Games begin, is meant to reflect ancient Greek practices and customs.
A female performer will act as a priestess and be joined by ten female performers as Vestal Virgins. She will ignite a torch by placing it inside a parabolic mirror that focuses the sun’s rays. Then, she will light the torch of the first relay bearer, who will also be a Greek athlete. This action will initiate the Olympic torch relay, culminating in the opening ceremony which will be held in France.
The Olympic flame will then be transported aboard a three-masted tall ship to Marseille, France’s oldest city, in what is perhaps another nod to the Olympics’ Classical Greek past, since Marseille was originally founded by ancient Greek colonists around 600 BC.
Which city better than Marseille for a kick off? 🔵⚪️
Marseille will be the 1st French city to host the flame! From Athens, the flame will cross the Mediterranean Sea on the Belem and launch the Olympic Torch Relay 🔥
With our Presenting Partners, get ready for a great party! pic.twitter.com/yWsiHFww2Z
— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) February 3, 2023
Torch relay in France
The flame will arrive in Marseille on May 8. The Belem – the ship transporting the flame – and its crew will be met by a flotilla of ships to celebrate the Olympic torch’s arrival. The Marseille marina will itself host Olympic sailing competitions once the games commence.
“Something historic is happening here, in our region,” commented Renaud Muselier, President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, and Deputy President of the Association of Regions of France. “Let’s be proud to welcome the Olympic flame, which will put the iconic locations of the region in the spotlight, before [welcoming] sailing and football events.”
After leaving Marseille, the torch relay will visit noteworthy heritage sites like the impressive Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy and the medieval city of Carcassone, which boasts a history of 2,500 years. Additionally, it will pass through renowned red-wine vineyards in Saint-Émilion and the white-wine vineyards of Chablis.
Eventually, the flame will reach Paris, where an opening ceremony will officially mark the start of the 2024 Olympic Games.