PARIS: The Paris 2024 Olympic Games flame will be lit on April 16 next year, marking the countdown to the July 26-Aug 11 games in the French capital, an Olympic movement source said today.
The flame will be lit at Greece’s ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Games, and will remain in the country for about a week before a handover ceremony in Athens and departure to France, the source told Reuters.
In a traditional ceremony at the site of the ancient Games, an actress playing a high priestess lights the torch for every Games – summer or winter – using a parabolic mirror before passing the flame to the first torchbearer at the edge of the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia.
Following a brief domestic relay in Greece the flame is then handed over to the host city.
Paris organisers have said they will use a three-masted ‘Belem’ ship to take it the port city of Marseille, where the sailing competitions of the Olympics will take place.
Usually the flame, held in a safety lantern, is flown by plane to the Olympic Games host city.
Marseille, founded by the Greek settlers of Phocaea around 600 BC, is the starting point of the French leg of the relay which will end in Paris on July 14.
Paris 2024 organisers have been planning to install the Olympic flame on the Eiffel Tower, according to sources.