SYMBOL: After a crossing of about ten days from Greece, the Olympic flame will disembark from Belem, one of the oldest three masters in Europe to still sail
Marseille city will have to wait another year before being the first French city to see the Olympic flame for the Paris 2024 Games. It will indeed land in France on the 8th May 2024, as planned in Marseille, Mayor Benoît Payan announced on Sunday.
On this occasion, “a great popular festival will be organized on the Old Port to celebrate together the biggest sporting competition in the world and the millennial history of the founding of our city! “, specified on Twitter the one who directs the second city of France. Under his message, there is a photo of the huge tifo deployed in a stand at the Vélodrome stadium before the start of the Ligue 1 match between OM and Auxerre, the tifo representing the Olympic flame and its rings in the middle of the white colours and blue sky of Marseilles and framed on the sides by the blood and gold of Provence.
If the arrival of the Olympic flame by Marseille was known since the beginning of February, it is the date of this arrival which was specified Sunday evening by Benoît Payan. As announced during a press conference at the Marseille town hall on February 3, the flame will land from the Bélem, one of the oldest three masters in Europe still sailing, after a crossing of around ten days from Greece, where, as in each edition of the Games, it will have been lit during a ceremony in Olympia.
Marseille’s strong link with Greece
The Phocaean city has a strong link with Greece, the Massalia colony having been founded by Greeks around 600 BC “Marseille was founded by Greeks who came from Phocaea 2,600 years ago: by asking to welcome the flame on our shores, we wanted to reconnect with this great story of sharing, fraternity, diversity and solidarity”, had also greeted Benoît Payan in February.
The complete journey of the flame to Paris, after its arrival in Marseille, should be announced at the end of May, said Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris Olympics organizing committee (Cojo). The only certainty for the moment: after its arrival in Marseille, the flame will cross around sixty “territories” before arriving in Paris on July 14, ten days before the start of the Games (July 26 to August 11 2024). Marseille will host the sailing events as well as ten meetings of the women’s and men’s football tournaments, at the Vélodrome stadium.