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Paris 2024 Torch Relays – The search for 11,000 Torch Bearers

June 01 2023 - News Release News Editorial

“The Forerunners’ Relays”

Paris 2024 Torch Relays – The search for 11,000 Torch Bearers

As highly anticipated key events of the Games, the Olympic Torch Relay and the Paralympic Torch Relay are unique features that set the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games apart from any other sports event in the world.

Organised with the support of its Official Sponsors, Coca-Cola, les Banques Populaires and les Caisses d’Épargne, the Paris 2024 Torch Relays will be the “Relais des Eclaireurs” [the Forerunners’ Relays]. These Forerunners are people who live and breathe sport daily, people who have invested in the Olympic Games Paris 2024, and people who are eager to welcome and experience the Games.

The Forerunners will officially launch the Games’ celebrations.  The arrival of the Olympic Flame in Marseille aboard the three-masted Belem, on 8 May 2024, will mark the start of a two-month continuous festival throughout France, which will continue during the period of the Games and then to the Paralympic Torch Relay, to be held ahead of the Opening Ceremony on 28 August.

The Forerunners will shine a light on the beauty and diversity of the French regions on the route and will highlight the role of sport and those who participate in it throughout France.

Finally, the Relays will feature great and small human stories: the meeting of all those who will come together to watch the Flame go by, and the stories of the 11,000 Forerunners, both famous and unknown, who will have the honour of carrying the Torch.

The search for 11,000 Torchbearers

A total of some 11,000 people will have the unique experience of carrying the Torch: 10,000 for the Olympic Torch Relay and 1,000 for the Paralympic Torch Relay.

Whether selected by a jury, sponsored, or an different means, all the Torchbearers will have one thing in common – to have been selected for their inspirational life story corresponding to at least one of the three “energies” of the Paris 2024 Torch Relay:

  • The energy of sport, which will be at the heart of the identity of the Relays. Future Torchbearers could be athletes or volunteers from clubs, amateur sports people, those involved in the Games, etc.
  • The energy of the regions: Entrepreneurs, innovators and those who create and represent French excellence in all sectors of activity.
  • The energy of the community Those who are committed every day to building a society that is more unified, more inclusive, more sustainable and fairer.

Four elite athletes will act as “Super Ambassadors” to push the energy of sport through these Relays and to open the way for the celebrations. They are Laure Manaudou (Olympic swimming champion), Florent Manaudou (Olympic swimming champion), Mona Francis (European Para triathlon champion) and Dimitri Pavadé (Tokyo Paralympic long jump silver medallist).

Mona Francis: “First of all, I am very honoured to be an ambassador participating in the Torch Relay, which is very symbolic. I feel very proud to have been chosen from among these inspiring athletes with impressive track records to carry the Flame towards the opening of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. I am certain that this will be something I will never forget. With respect to my role, and as a more personal message I would like to pass on, I hope I will be able to be an example to future female athletes, with or without disabilities. Access to elite Paralympic sport is not easy – material obstacles are far too present today. This is a real issue and I would like to encourage these female athletes not to give up if they have their heart set on a sports project. They should hang on in there and persevere.”

Laure Manaudou: “Being involved in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 is a dream-come-true for me, as I have always dreamed of taking part in the Olympic Games in France. Representing France by getting involved in this way, given that I am no longer an active athlete, was a logical follow-up to my career. Serving as an Ambassador alongside my brother is even better. The symbolism of peace and respect in sport is really important to me.”

Florent Manaudou: “Before becoming an elite athlete, I admired all the protagonists of sport and Olympism, from the athletes to the coaches, not forgetting the volunteers, the referees and also the flagbearers and torchbearers. This is why I am very honoured to be an Ambassador of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, alongside incredible athletes, for these Olympic Games Paris 2024. Sharing is important, and this role as an Ambassador, while still being an active athlete, is something that means a lot to me. I can’t wait to find out about the route of the Torch Relay, which will cover the whole of France before arriving in Paris in the summer of 2024.”

Dimitri Pavadé: “Today, being one of the Ambassadors of the Torch Relay for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 is just unbelievable to me. This beacon of peace, strength and unity – I will be the one to light the way for the great French team towards its covered star.”

Team Relays celebrating the values of community and sharing

Among the 11,000 Torchbearers, some 3,000 will participate in community team Relays, organised on a scale never seen for the Games.

More than half of them will be organised by the French sports movement. With support from the CNOSF and the CPSF, the 34 Olympic and Paralympic Federations with sports on the Games programme, and the Tahiti Surfing Federation, will organise a total of 69 team Relays, featuring athletes practising their disciplines. The aim is to highlight the sports movement as a whole and to bring to life the values of sharing, which are at the heart of sport.

The whole Paris 2024 ecosystem mobilised to select the Torchbearers

To identify the Torchbearers, in every corner of France, Paris 2024 will mobilise all those involved in its ecosystem, using their ability to engage and their territorial anchoring: the Official Sponsors of the Torch Relay, partner companies, the sports movement, the Games stakeholders, and the territories covered by the Relay will also contribute to this selection. The selection processes will be specified in the course of time, ahead of their campaigns.

For those extra-motivated people who can’t wait, the selection process will start on 1 June! The members of the Paris 2024 Club will be able to nominate a peer who complies with the selection criteria. Five hundred of them will be lucky enough to carry the precious Torch. Go to https://www.paris2024.org/fr/porteurs-Flamme/ as from 1 June 2023 to find out more!

Les Banques Populaires and les Caisses d’épargne will launch their selection processes on 1 June, and Coca-Cola’s selection campaign will start on 17 July 2023. The Torchbearer selection process will continue through to the start of 2024, when the names of the lucky people chosen will be announced.

***

Tony Estanguet, Paris 2024 President“The Torch Relays are the story of the Games and of the people, and they are also a story of openness, handing over and sharing, which is particularly moving for us at Paris 2024. The Torch Relay and the Forerunners who will carry the Flame will therefore have a special role in our project. In 2024, with the Relay, the greatest athletes will rub shoulders with sports fans, the men and women involved in the territories and those invested in community awareness projects. We are just as eager to welcome the Flame on the streets of France as to find out who will be lucky enough to carry it. On 23 June we go ahead with our launch, with the unveiling of the Torch Relay route.  And when the schools go back in September, we will reveal the route of the Paralympic Torch Relay!”

Claire Revenu, Coca-Cola General Manager Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024For Coca-Cola, the Torch Relays are a real symbol, which will mark next year, the beginning of the kick-off of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. For the company and all the staff, they are synonymous with inclusion, diversity and sharing. Through the Torch Relays, Coca-Cola wishes to celebrate the magic of the Games with the public, on every road in France, through wonderful celebrations and music-based events. We have been the partner of the Torch Relay for most of the editions since Barcelona 1992, and we know how moving and unique the experience of the Flame going through towns and being among the people really is. As a Sponsor of this edition, we are very excited about the idea of enabling many hundreds of people to carry the Torch. Starting this summer, we will make this known through a major marketing campaign, in shops, in the media, on our packs and also via a summer tour in France, explaining how to become a candidate.

Hélène Madar, Head of Retail Banking and Insurance, BPCE Group: “As Official Sponsors of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, the 12 regional Banques Populaires and the 15 regional Caisses d’Épargne are fully committed to making this event a great festival of sport for the people and open to everyone. Cooperative banks and local companies will be keen to undertake activities linked to the Relays, aiming to promote inclusion through sport and in the interest of providing a legacy at the heart of their territories. In each and every one of our beautiful regions, our clients, licence-holders, staff, the athletes on our teams, and the general public will be able to participate in this unique event and thus share the emotion of the Games.”

Marie-Françoise Potereau, CNOSF Vice-President in charge of Paris 2024 and Gender Diversity, and Vice-President of the French Cycling Federation“The Torch Relays will bring the magic of sport and Olympism right up close to the people of France! The French National Olympic and Sports Committee is looking forward to accompanying all the Federations with sports on the Olympic Programme (32 Olympic Federations, as well as the Fédération française du sport adapté [French Adaptive Sport Federation] and the Fédération française handisport [French Disability Sport Federation]) in organising the team Relays, a first in the history of the Games. Each Federation will be able to select its own Torchbearer teams, thus celebrating ‘those who live and breathe sport daily’, our licence-holders, our volunteers and our athletes. These team Relays are a fabulous opportunity to showcase all the disciplines and highlight the diversity of the French federate sports movement. To enable these Games to be a vehicle for the development of sporting practice, the Torch Relays will be the first meeting place between sport and the public in the framework of these Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024, before the competitions and medals.”

Elie Patrigeon, CPSF Director General: “As real symbols, these Torch Relays are key moments with which the French Paralympic and Sports Committee is proud to be associated. In the context of the Games on home turf, and mirroring the great, large and unified French team, we are looking forward to seeing the sports movement fully coming together and committed. Indeed, all the Olympic and Paralympic sports federations will be mobilised with the same fervour to constitute the Olympic and Paralympic Relays. This is a beautiful story that we are telling: from the routes to the selection of the Torchbearers, everything is highly symbolic, in particular for the Paralympic Movement. Alongside the Organising Committee, we encourage all the supporters and all French people to come together to experience the first emotions of the Games.”

***

Media contact:

Paris 2024 – media@paris2024.org

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