8th June 2023 – (Paris) According to an Olympic movement source, the countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will officially begin on April 16 next year with the lighting of the Olympic flame. The flame will be lit at Greece’s ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Games, and will remain in the country for about a week before being handed over to France in a ceremony in Athens.
In a traditional ceremony at the ancient Games’ site, an actress will play the role of a high priestess, using a parabolic mirror to light the torch for every Games – summer or winter – before passing the flame to the first torchbearer at the edge of the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia.
After a brief domestic relay in Greece, the flame will be handed over to the host city. Paris organisers have announced that they will use the three-masted ship, the ‘Belem,’ to transport the flame to the port city of Marseille, where the sailing competitions of the Olympics will take place.
Typically, 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 14th July.