'24 Olympic Flame to Ride 3-Masted "Belem" to French port of Marseille

April 26, 2024

Copyright Charles de Lisle/AdobeStock
Copyright Charles de Lisle/AdobeStock

Paris 2024 Olympics organizers on Friday, April 26, received the Games' flame in a handover ceremony in Athens ahead of a 68-day torch relay that will end with the opening ceremony on July 26.

The flame arrived at the central Athens' Panathenaic stadium, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896, after an 11-day relay across Greece and following the lighting in ancient Olympia last week.

Several thousand fans and tourists sat in the stands of the horse-shaped marble stadium on a sun-drenched afternoon as the head of the Paris Games, Tony Estanguet, received the torch from Greek Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos.

He carried it out of the stadium and the flame will be kept in a lantern overnight at the French Embassy in the Greek capital.

It will leave on Saturday on board the three-masted ship the "Belem" for the French port of Marseille where it will arrive on May 8.

An estimated 150,000 spectators are expected to attend the ceremony at the Old Port of Marseille, which will host the Olympic sailing competitions.

The last torch bearer in Marseille will climb on the roof of the Velodrome stadium on May 9. Marseille was founded by the Greek settlers of Phocaea around 600 BC.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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