On Friday 23 June, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 unveiled the next Olympic Torch Relay route in a historical and symbolic place, at the Sorbonne University, where Pierre de Coubertin held the founding speech for the Modern Olympic Games. It will start in Olympia on 16 April 2024 with the arrival of the Olympic flame in Marseille on 8 May from Athens, Greece.
Its 68-day journey will then officially begin taking in 65 French territories courtesy of 10,000 Torch bearers visiting some of the most iconic and historic places in the host nation.
Organised in close collaboration with the territories involved in the Relay and its Presenting partners for more than two months, the Olympic Torch Relay route will be a real journey across France, engaging the local population and creating excitement in the lead up to the Games.
Also called “Forerunners Relay”, it will highlight the beauty and diversity of France – its history, outstanding panoramas, expertise, traditions, talents, creators and innovators – and announce the return of the Olympic Summer Games, 100 years after France last hosted the event.
“Today, we are proud to unveil the route of the Olympic Torch Relay, which will be more than a circuit around France in 68 days. It will showcase the incredible breadth of our country: Heritage, landscapes, museums, performing arts… And of course, its inhabitants!”, declared Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024.
When asked for three words to characterise the Torch Relay, Estanguet chose: “Spectacular – we want to make people dream, we want to show a France that shines. National – we’re lucky to have strong support from all regions. Sporting – it’s really important to celebrate sport in the whole country and make it more sporting.”
Amélie Oudéa-Castera, Minister for Sport and the Olympic & Paralympic Games said: “It’s going to be beautiful! For months and years, the local collectivities have been very involved in the organisatiom of these Games, which will run in seven regions and 11 departments. These are the most decentralised Games ever in history. And it was important to have the overseas territories covered. This part of the relay is also going to be wonderful.”
Olympic gold medallist, swimmer Florent Manaudou, one of four French athletes chosen as leader for a relay said: “It’s incredible to be captain. When you are a kid discovering the Games, you see the sporting part but also the Olympic torch, which is highly symbolic. I am very happy to showcase all the amazing landscapes we have in France.”
Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said: “Paris is shining. It’s the symbol of a free city, a wonderful city, the most beautiful city in the world. I am very proud to have driven this bid and brought back the Games in Paris.
“The flame is the energy of a country, the will to be together. The Torch Relay is preparation for the Opening Ceremony, it’s a national story telling, which brings us together. In this story telling, there are landscapes, territories, nature, the beauty of the sites and our diverse cultures.”