Olympic flame for Paris Olympics lit in symbolic ceremony in Ancient Olympia

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On the eve of 100 days to go, the flame for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 has been lit. It was ignited at the historic birthplace of the Olympic Games in Ancient Olympia in Greece. The Olympic flame, embodying peace and hope, will now journey across Greece before coming to France. After arriving in Marseille on 8 May, it will travel across the entire country, and some French overseas territories, arriving at the Opening Ceremony in Paris on 26 July.

Amongst the dignitaries attending this historic event today were International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, President of the Hellenic Republic, Her Excellency Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, Paris 2024 Organising Committee President, Tony Estanguet, President of the European Olympic Committees Spyros Capralos, President of the French National Olympic Committee and IOC Member, David Lappartient, the IOC Members in France, Guy Drut and Jean-Christophe Rolland, the French Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the Chair of the IOC’s Paris 2024 Coordination Commission, Pierre-Olivier Beckers Vieujant and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

The lighting ceremony, held at the Temple of Hera, paid homage to the Olympic Games’ Greek heritage, reinforcing the profound link between ancient traditions and the modern Games. The flame was kindled by the high priestess and, along with an olive branch symbolising peace, was passed to the first torchbearer.

This honour was given to Greek rower, Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist Stefanos Douskos, who then passed it on to Laure Manaudou, the first French torchbearer on Greek soil and an Olympic champion at Athens 2004. The flame will now travel onwards, first embarking upon an 11-day journey across Greece, during which the flame will be carried over 5,000 kilometres, through 43 municipalities.