The Paris 2024 Paralympic and Olympic
torch relays will be known as the “Forerunners’ Relays”, featuring about 11,000
runners taking part to pave the way for the celebrations ahead of the Games and
showcase the beauty of France’s natural and cultural heritage.
About 1,000 people will take part in
the Paralympic Torch Relay. The flame will be lit in Stoke Mandeville, Great
Britain, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.
At the end of August 2024, the flame
will arrive in France for a relay in the country before reaching Paris to light
the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games on 28 August.
“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," said
Tony Estanguet, the president of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee.
"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.”
The search for torchbearers
The Paralympic torch relay will
feature about 1,000 runners who will showcase one of the three “energies” of
Paris 2024. The Olympic torch relay will have about 10,000 runners who will be
selected through the same criteria as the Paralympic relay.
The first energy is about sport and
the Games. This includes the energy of the athletes, volunteers and people
taking part in amateur sports from various sports associations.
The second energy relates to
communities, symbolised by those who are running businesses, innovating,
creating and embodying French excellence across all sectors throughout France.
Finally, the third energy relates to
the collective and will be showcased through the selection of the torchbearers
who are taking action each day to build a more inclusive, more sustainable and
fair society with a strong focus on solidarity.
The torchbearers will represent
diversity in order to promote the importance an inclusive society: women and
men, national and local public figures, people selected from the general public
and persons with disabilities.
Four athletes, including two Para
athletes, from the host country will serve as “Super Ambassadors” to lead the
torch relays. They are Olympic swimming gold medallists Laure Manaudou and
Florent Manadou, and Para athletes Mona Francis and Dimitri Pavadé.
Francis, who competes in Para
triathlon, said she is honoured to be participating as an ambassador and also
hopes to send a message to future female athletes.
“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,” she said.
“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 for 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.