Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / Olympic Games

Paris Olympics flame to be lit in its Greek birthplace

Updated: 2024-04-15 10:25
Share - WeChat
Children from Greek and French schools participate in a flashmob to mark the "On the way to the Paris 2024 Olympics", French embassy's event at the Panathenaic stadium, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece March 14, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

OLYMPIA, Greece - Nearly 100 days before the 2024 Paris Games open, the Olympic flame will be lit in ancient Olympia Tuesday for a torch relay stretching from the Acropolis to French Polynesia.

Some 600 dignitaries are expected at the ceremony on Tuesday, headed by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

The ritual will see actresses in the role of ancient priestesses coaxing the Olympic flame into life with the help of a parabolic polished mirror in Olympia, southwestern Greece, where the Games were born in 776 BC.

American mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato is to deliver the Olympic anthem.

The ceremony is conducted at the ruins of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, and sets off the Olympic torch relay that marks the countdown for each Games.

Cloudy skies are forecast for Tuesday, but organisers traditionally hold a test run a day earlier as a precaution. Sunnier weather that should enable the flame to be lit is expected Monday.

The torch harks back to the ancient Olympics, when a sacred flame burned throughout the Games. The tradition was revived in 1936 for the Berlin Games.

The first relay runner will be Greece's 2020 Olympics rowing champion Stefanos Douskos.

Retired French swimmer Laure Manaudou, who won her first gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, is strongly tipped to be France's first torchbearer in Olympia, according to sources in Greece.

During the 11-day relay on Greek soil, some 600 torchbearers will carry the flame over a distance of 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles) through 41 municipalities.

Carried by ship

The Olympic flame will be handed over to Paris 2024 organisers in a ceremony at the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic Games of 1896, on April 26.

Nana Mouskouri, the 89-year-old Greek singer with a worldwide following, has been invited to perform at the ceremony.

On April 27, the flame will begin its journey to France on board the 19th-century three-masted barque Belem, which was launched just weeks after the Athens 1896 Games.

A French historical monument, the Belem carried out trade journeys to Brazil, Guyana and the West Indies for nearly two decades.

France's last surviving three-mast steel-hulled boat, it is expected to arrive in Marseille on May 8.

Ten thousand torchbearers will then carry the flame across 64 French territories.

It will travel through 400 towns and dozens of tourist attractions during its 12,000-kilometre (7,500-mile) journey through mainland France and overseas French territories in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

On July 26 it will form the centrepiece of the Paris Olympics opening ceremony on the river Seine -- the first time it has not been held in the Games' main stadium.


Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349