Olympic Flame

Paris organisers announced that instead of arriving overland, the Olympic flame that will alight the 2024 Paris Games will take to the high seas from its birthplace in Greece.  It will arrive in the ancient Greek-founded port of Marseille in France aboad a three-masted tall ship.  Marseille is a former Greek colony founded 2,600 years ago.  According to tradition, the flame will be lit by the sun's rays at a ceremony in Ancient Olympia.  The flame will then be carried by the Olympic torch to Athens and across the Mediterranean to the famed Old Port of Marseille, where the flame will be greeted by an armada of boats along the French coastline.  From the Old Port it will travel to the Marseille Marina, where Olympic sailing competitions will be based, and the Marseille Stadium hosting Olympic football games. 

From Marseille the Olympic flame will be carried overland in the traditional torch relay, before arriving in Paris to light the cauldron and officially open the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be held from Wednesday 26th July until Friday 11th August 2023.

The announcement on Friday 3rd February came as the general assembly of Ukraine's National Olympic Committee was meeting in Kyiv to discuss a possble boycott of the Paris 2024 Olympics if Russian athletes are allowed to compete.  The decision to potentially permit Russian and Belarusian athletes to attend the Paris 2024 Olympics has been strongly criticized by Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Denmark.  Poland's sport and tourism minister claimed it would be possible to build a coalition of at least 40 countries to oppose Russian & Belarusian athletes to compete in the Olympics as 'neutral athletes' without flags or anthems by the International Olympic Committee.

Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo said on 7th February, "It is not possible to parade as if nothing had happened, to have a delegation that comes to Paris while the bombs continue to rain down on Ukraine".  Hidalgo confessed that she wished all Russian athletes were banned until the Russian aggression against Ukraine stopped.  She continued that only those Russian athletes should be allowed to take part in the Olympics who do not support Russia's invasion of Ukraine.