Paris Olympics torch relay will involve 10,000 runners
ZCZCSAINT-DENIS, France, May 30, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - There will be 10,000
torchbearers to carry the Olympic flame as it passes through some 60 French
departments ahead of the 2024 Games, Paris Olympic organisers announced on
After the flame is lit in the traditional ceremony in Olympia, Greece, it
will arrive by sea in Marseille aboard the three-master Belem on May 8.
From there it will travel across France on its way to the Olympic opening
ceremony in the capital on July 26.
There has been speculation that the Olympic flame will be placed on the
Eiffel Tower, but the president of the organising committee, Tony Estanguet,
told a press conference the final destination had not been decided.
"The Eiffel Tower has not been decided as the lighting location for the
cauldron," he said.
A novelty this time is "collective relays", which could be groups of up to 24
people, with one carrying the torch.
There will be 3,000 collective and 7,000 individual torchbearers, including
equal numbers of men and women aged 15 and over.
Each torchbearer will carry the flame for around 4 minutes over a distance of
A third of the torchbearers will be selected by the organising committee and
the sports bodies, another third by relay sponsors Coca-Cola and French bank
BPCE, another third by other Olympic partners, and the final 10 percent by
the regions hosting the relay.
The International Olympic Committee forbids elected officials and religious
figures carrying the flame.
Some French departments refused to take part, deeming the 180,000-euro
($193,000) cost prohibitive.
The organisers said there would be "an itinerant bubble" of security around
the flame provided by the French gendarmes, police and local security forces.
The Paralympic torch relay, which will arrive in Paris on August 28 for the
opening of the Paralympic Games, will involve 1,000 torchbearers, and will be
The record for most torch bearers is 20,000 ahead of the Beijing summer Games
in 2008. That relay passed through 19 countries, where it was carried by more
than 1,300 bearers, before reaching China. It covered a total of 85,000 miles
on its 130-day journey.
For the last Summer Olympics in Japan in 2021, the Olympic torch relay was
banned from public thoroughfares in many departments, including Tokyo,
because of Covid. For the same reason the relay ahead of the 2022 Winter
Games was reduced to three stages in Beijing.
At the London Olympics in 2013, 8,000 people relayed the flame.