The Olympic flame – "an ancient tradition", as Delphine Moulin, director of celebrations at Paris 2024, reminds us – will be lit in Greece, the cradle of Olympism, where it will make stops before arriving in Marseille on 8 May 2024 aboard the Belem, one of the oldest three-masted ships still in seaworthy condition.
For 65 days, the flame will then crisscross France and overseas, according to a route that will be unveiled on June 23. "The torch route is a key moment that launches the festivities, a moment that marks memories and allows a reputation for the host country," says Delphine Moulin. Paris 2024, which has placed the practice of sport at the heart of its project, intends to create a "festive and popular" relay, a relay that is "a long sporting journey". Four French athletes — Laure and Florent Manaudou, Dimitri Pavadé and Mona Francis — will captain the torch relay.
10,000 "scouts" from the world of sport, associations or culture
In 2024, 10,000 people — "scouts" — will carry the Olympic flame (plus 1,000 for the Paralympic Games, whose course in August will be shortened in time). "The challenge is to value those who play sport, those who live sport, those who are committed and those who embody French excellence," says Michael Aloisio, spokesperson for Paris 2024. It will thus be possible to carry the flame alone, or with others, notably via the Olympic and Paralympic federations.
Leaders, educators, volunteers, anonymous or great personalities, local figures, craftsmen, but also people involved in social welfare associations or related to the environment will be invited to carry the flame. As with the volunteer programme, Paris 2024 wants there to be gender parity.
All generations will also be represented, while people with disabilities will also be selected. The two sponsors of the torch relay (Coca-Cola and BPCE) will participate in the selection of some of the bearers, the partners of the Games, the territories crossed by the relay and the sports movement (French Olympic Committee and sports federations), including 69 collective relays (out of 125).
Nominated, selected or drawn, everyone has their own chance
"Ordinary people who have done extraordinary things," insists Paris 2024. Starting this Thursday, June 1st, there will be several opportunities to become a torchbearer. The condition: be over 15 years old. Members of the Paris 2024 club will be invited to propose the name of a personality or a loved one who, according to them, stands out, particularly through sport. BPCE, through its Banque Populaire and Caisse d'Epargne entities, offer its customers, members, employees, athletes and the general public the opportunity to try their luck. Candidates will have to share, on a dedicated platform (banquepopulaire.fr/communication/devenirporteurdelaflamme or caisse-epargne.fr/communication/devenirporteurdelaflamme), "their inspiring life journey, their commitment to a more cohesive and inclusive society, their initiatives for the protection of the environment, their innovative or sport-related actions".
A draw will then pre-select the candidates in each of the territories of the Banques Populaires and the Caisses d'Epargne. In addition to the individual torchbearers, each Banque Populaire and each Caisse d'Epargne will organize a collective relay on its territory, each composed of 24 participants.
For Coca-Cola, everyone will also be able to try their luck, starting July 17. Until August 29, the company, which will provide all drinks during the Games, will set up the "Coca-Cola Village" and a tour of 11 cities in France, to explain the modalities and encourage the French to apply. Simply download the "Coke App" to post your application.
"We have been a partner of the torch relays on the majority of editions since Barcelona 1992 and know how moving and unique the passage in cities and with the public is," said Claire Revenu, General Manager of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at Coca-Cola. As the sponsor of this new edition, we are very excited to allow several hundred people to become torchbearers. In spring 2024, Coca-Cola will also organize several concerts during the torch relay and set up various events in several cities of France.