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The upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics are poised to mark a significant milestone for France, shaping up as the most extensive event hosted by the country. Scheduled from July 26 to August 11, 2024, these weeks promise to etch an unforgettable historical moment, with Paris emerging as a global epicenter for sports and beyond. These Games symbolize a fresh journey that will lead France into an uncharted and unparalleled experience. President of Paris 2024 Tony Estanguet, torch designer Mathieu Lehanneur, and production partner ArcelorMittal presented the 2024 Paris Olympics and Pralympics torch on July 25, at the headquarters of the organizing committee. The torch relay, commencing with the initial steps of the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay in France on May 8, 2024, will involve the participation of 11,000 individuals—10,000 for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and 1,000 for the Paralympic Games.
After travelling hundreds of kilometers, the torch will light the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. After two weeks of competition, it will begin a new journey for the Paralympic Torch Relay, lighting the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony on August 28, 2024.
French designer Mathieu Lehanneur collaborated with steel producer ArcelorMittal in Luxembourg to bring his concept to life for this year’s torch. Contemporary Japanese designer and artist Tokujin Yoshioka crafted the Torch for Tokyo 2020 in the likeness of cherry blossoms, which hold the status of Japan’s national flower. Lehanneur’s design replicates the form of that torch.
The torch for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris stands out from all others due to its champagne hue. Designer of the torch Lehanneur also took inspiration from three Paris 2024 symbols: Equality, Water, and Peacefulness—to depict the future Games.
The design of the torch skillfully incorporates ripples and reflections, symbolizing the second component of the torch’s concept—water. This also honors the famed Seine River in Paris. Since ancient Greece, the Olympic Flame has sent a potent message of peace and unity to people and nations. Rooted in a tradition spanning millennia, it symbolizes the cherished Olympic truce. With its gently curved and rounded forms, the Olympic flame expresses a sentiment of tenderness that is in line with the third theme of peace.
Crafted with precision from steel in collaboration with ArcelorMittal, the Official Partner of the Games, the Paris 2024 torch boasts a sophisticated champagne hue. The production of torches will exclusively utilize recycled steel obtained from waste materials. To minimize the environmental impact of production, a total of 2000 torches will be manufactured. This marks a significant reduction from the previous Olympic Games, which produced five times the number of torches. The torch is uniform from every perspective thanks to the alluring golden ring that gracefully separates its polished top and skillfully carved lower halves. With a height of 70 cm and a weight of 1.5 kg, it displays the amazing outcome of the designer’s imagination since he was given the freedom to fully realize his artistic vision.
The Paris Games will signify a milestone as they will be the first to feature an equal number of male and female competitors, a concept that has also been extended to the Paralympic Games. The organizing body for the Games has pledged to organize the Paralympic Games with the same vision as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games; similarly to the emblem and mascots, the torch design is the same for both competitions.
According to the designer, making the torch for the Paris 2024 Games is a designer’s ultimate goal, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is comparable to a remarkable brush with history. The torch is revered for its “ritualistic and magical qualities,” and has mythological importance. It will play a crucial part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024. It will travel thousands of kilometers from person to person, both on land and at sea, as it sets out on its epic adventure.
Also Read | Olympic Flag | Olympic Rings | Olympic Symbol
Torch Relay Route
The 68-day voyage will then officially start when 10,000 Torchbearers have visited some of the most famous and significant locations in the host country. This will include 65 French territories. The route of the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay is set to traverse France, creating a genuine expedition that involves local communities and builds anticipation for the upcoming Games. The planning process has involved close consultation with the participating areas and their Presenting partners for over two months.
The Torch Relay will proclaim the return of the Olympic Summer Games, 100 years after France last held the event. The “Forerunners Relay” is another name for this event, and its purpose is to showcase the richness and splendor of France. This includes its history, captivating landscapes, knowledge, traditions, skills, creators, and inventors.
The Torch – Uniting the Games Celebration
Following an age-old tradition, the Paris 2024 Olympic torch will be ignited by the sun in Olympia, Greece, before crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach France. The festivities will get underway in Marseille on May 8, 2024, as the four-month Torch Relay starts its trek across France’s many regions on its way to the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony.
After two weeks of competition, the Olympic flame will be extinguished, while the torch will persistently burn. At the symbolic site of the Paralympic Games, Stoke Mandeville, the torch will reignite to illuminate a new relay, carried by 1,000 new torchbearers. This act symbolizes the link between Olympism and Paralympism. After the relay, a fresh flame will light a fresh cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games on August 28, 2024. Following a fortnight of fierce competition, the curtain will fall on the Paralympic Games with the closing ceremony on September 8, 2024.
The Olympic torch is a profound representation of harmony, optimism, and the promise of the human race. It ignites the flames of inspiration in the hearts of millions of people across the world as it travels the world on the backs of a broad assortment of athletes and people. The Olympic torch relay represents the ageless spirit of the Olympic Games—a celebration of human achievement, tenacity, and the quest for excellence—from its modest beginnings in Ancient Greece to its lavish modern spectacle.
As we look to the future, the Olympic torch will undoubtedly continue to shine brightly, guiding athletes toward their dreams and inspiring spectators to believe in their potential. With each new Olympic Games, this timeless tradition reminds us of the capacity we possess to overcome challenges, break barriers, and create a better, more inclusive world.
Mathieu Lehanneur designed the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics torch design.
The torch for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris stands out from all others due to its champagne hue.
Other than replicating the form of 2020 Tokyo torch, designer of the torch Lehanneur took inspiration from three Paris 2024 symbols: Equality, Water, and Peacefulness—to depict the future Games.
It is made with a lightweight polished steel and with a champagne colour, the torch’s lower half features a relief pattern that mimics the movement of the Seine.
Opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is on 26 July, 2024.