The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics are set to kick off with a riveting opening ceremony, culminating a torch relay involving 10,000 bearers of the Olympic flame.
Known also as “Paris 2024”, these Games, slated for July and August of the coming year, will showcase a unique opening spectacle focused on the River Seine that traverses the city.
Paris 2024 Olympics: A Grand Torch Relay with 10,000 Participants
As reported by the French press agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP), the voyage of the Olympic flame will commence from Olympia, Greece, heading towards Marseille, France, aboard the sailing ship Belem. It will then be passed from hand to hand across France until it reaches the capital city on July 26.
According to officials, each torchbearer will carry the flame for approximately 200 meters, spanning around 4 minutes.
The final destination of the cauldron that will preserve the flame throughout the Games remains a mystery, as per Tony Estanguet, the President of the Paris 2024 organizing committee. He debunked rumors of the Eiffel Tower being chosen as the cauldron’s site.
The opening spectacle will also see athletes journeying along the Seine on festively adorned boats for a distance of 6 kilometers. With free admission, organizers anticipate about 600,000 spectators along the course.
The primary site for the opening ceremony will be a newly constructed 30,000-seat stadium situated in the Trocadero, a park adjacent to the Seine and near the Eiffel Tower.
The ambition of the organizing committee is to make the Paris 2024 opening ceremony the most “spectacular and accessible” event in Olympic history.
Security will be of paramount importance during the torch relay across France, with police officers and other security personnel guarding the flame and the torchbearers. Organizers are cognizant of potential threats from terrorists and those who might seek to exploit the high-profile event for nefarious purposes.
This will mark the third time Paris has hosted the Olympic Games, with Paris 2024 commemorating a hundred years since its first hosting in 1924.
The tradition of the Olympic flame traveling from Greece, where it is perpetually lit, to the host site of each Olympics is a time-honored aspect of this quadrennial sporting event. However, this ritual was notably curtailed during the 2021 Summer Olympics in Japan and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The largest torch relay in history occurred in 2008, when 20,000 torchbearers transported the flame to Beijing, traversing over 136,000 kilometers in a remarkable 130-day overland journey.