Paris Olympics torch relay to traverse land, sea

Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics announced the route of the torch relay on Friday, hoping to generate positive headlines after a difficult week of police raids on their offices.


From Mont Saint-Michel to the French Caribbean to the Palace of Versailles, the relay will be the dream of the head of the French tourism agency, although some local authorities have rejected it because of the cost.

The torch will be lit in Olympia, Greece, and then arrive in Marseille, a port in southern France, by boat on May 8, passing through 400 towns, before arriving in Paris on July 26 for the opening ceremony.

Organizers have had a worrying week after police raided the organizing committee’s headquarters (Cojo) and the offices of Solideo, which is in charge of the Olympic construction site.

They were then followed by another search on Wednesday, this time of Keneo, a Paris-based consultancy specializing in sports, and the residence of Etienne Thobois, chief executive of the Paris 2024 Olympics. was searched.

The raid was part of an investigation into Olympic contracts by France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF).

possible interruption

The torch will be traditionally lit at Olympia on April 16 before being transported to Marseille by the three-masted ship Belem.

Given the chaos surrounding the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics torch relay in France – sparked by protests over China’s treatment of Tibet – there will be a strong security presence.

“We know certain groups and activists will try something,” a source close to the organizers told AFP.

“(Eco-activists) Extinction Rebellion or who knows what group is going to throw things on the torch, or block the route.”

Protesters may find it harder to disrupt the sea relay, which faces a second boat trip in a trimaran piloted by 2016/2017 Vendee Globe winner Armel Le Cleac’h.

The 46-year-old sailor, nicknamed “The Jackal,” will lead a crew that will take the torch from Brest in Brittany for a week-long voyage to Guadeloupe and on to Martinique.

“This is a moment of great pride, honor and great responsibility for me,” Le Cree told AFP.

“We’re making history delivering the torch by boat.”

In mainland France, it will be accompanied by a huge convoy – race sponsors capitalizing on publicity – similar to what follows the Tour de France.

It will also pass through the cities of Toulouse, Toulouse and Montpellier, as well as picturesque tourist attractions such as the Palace of Versailles and Chambord, another famous castle in the Loire Valley.

The torchbearers are selected by the organizers and the sports community.

Another third will come from relay sponsors and other Olympic partners. The remaining 10% will be residents of the French overseas territories visited by the torch.


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