They will be 10,000 torchbearers to carry the Olympic flame that will cross sixty French departments from May to July 2024, explained Tuesday, May 30, the organizers of the Paris Olympics at a press conference.

Swimming champions Laure and Florent Manaudou have been designated to be "the captains" of this torch relay of the French Olympics, as well as Dimitri Pavadé (long jump) and Mona Francis (para-triathlon), we learned Tuesday.

Kicking off the Olympics, the flame, lit in Olympia in Greece as tradition dictates, will arrive by sea in Marseille aboard the three-masted Bélem on May 8, 2024. It will then begin a journey through the France until July 26, 2024, the opening night of the Paris Olympics.

See you on May 8, 2024 for the arrival of the Olympic flame in Marseille 🔥

A great popular party will be organized on the Old Port to celebrate together the biggest sports competition in the world and the millennial history of the foundation of our city!

— Benoît Payan (@BenoitPayan) April 30, 2023

The president of the organizing committee, Tony Estanguet, made it clear that the final lighting place was "not stopped" and "that the Eiffel Tower is not stopped as the place of lighting of the cauldron".

The relay route in detail will be unveiled on June 23. It will cross 64 French territories, 54 metropolitan departments, 5 overseas territories and 5 territories, such as Montpellier, cities that wanted to participate while the departments did not want to. Some departments had found the cost of €180,000 prohibitive.

The ultra-guarded secret of the last torchbearer

New for this French edition, the collective relay: a group of 24 people, including a single porter, will be able to participate, to represent, for example, a sports federation. They will be 3,000 in collective and 7,000 individual, including people with disabilities, and with gender parity, from 15 years old.

Each torchbearer will carry the flame for about 4 minutes over a distance of 200 meters.

One third of the torchbearers will be selected by the organising committee and the sports movement, another third by the companies sponsoring the torch relay, another third by the other partners of the Olympic Games and the last 10% by the territories hosting the flame.

>> Read also: Before the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, the major dates to remember

They could be sports educators, great champions, personalities of a territory, craftsmen with "a particular know-how" or people "who are committed". According to the rules of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), elected personalities in office, or religious figures, cannot carry the flame.

The two companies sponsoring the flame will launch their selection on June 1 and July. The vast majority of participants will be known at the beginning of 2024, but the names of the great champions and personalities will be listed over the months, with the ultra-guarded secret of the last torchbearer.

The Paralympic Games torch relay, which will arrive in Paris on August 28 for their opening, will include 1,000 torchbearers and will be shorter.

With AFP

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