2024 Olympics: from Moustiers to Manosque, a look back at the torch relay in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

After its spectacular arrival on Wednesday May 8 aboard the Belem in the Old Port of Marseille, the flame crisscrossed the city the next day and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence for a highly anticipated Olympic relay this Saturday May 11. The flame left the heart of the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie at 9 a.m.

In the alleys of the village, tourists, local residents, but also traders and officials witnessed the lighting of the flame before crossing the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department.

Starting from the heart of the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, the flame arrived at the Notre-Dame de Beauvoir chapel before continuing its journey to Sisteron. Photo Jean Christophe Magnenet

The morning moods quickly gave way to smiles at the sight of the Olympic flame at 9:47 a.m. in Sisteron!

Under applause and waving balloons, the collective relay of the French Mountain and Climbing Federation climbed the Baume rock with the flame, carried by Thierry Delarue, athlete of the French mountain climbing team. para-climbing. The torch then headed towards Digne-les-Bains.

The flame climbs the Baume rock in Sisteron. Photo Stéphane Duclet
The flame climbs the Baume rock in Sisteron.
The flame climbs the Baume rock in Sisteron. Photo Stéphane DUCLET
Torch relay in the Alpes de Haute Provence. Here in Sisteron.
Torch relay in the Alpes de Haute Provence. Here in Sisteron. Photo Stéphane Duclet

The flame arrived in Digne-les-Bains around noon. As for the flame bearers, 109 people took turns in the department this Sunday, including celebrities! In Digne, a scout was particularly expected: Alain Boghossian. The child from the city of Saint-Auban, a former footballer who became world champion in 1998, had the immense pride of being a torchbearer of the Olympic flame. Chosen by the Department, he did not hesitate for a second to take up the challenge…

Alain Boghossian has just recovered the flame in Digne
Alain Boghossian with the flame in Digne. Photo Stéphane DUCLET

Miss Martini, “forever the first“Marseillaise and drag queen to carry the Olympic flame! This drag queen artist, Martin Namias, by his name, was chosen to carry the torch in Digne-les-Bains, during the Olympic relay in the Alpes-de-Haute -Provence this Saturday, May 11, in a purple wig and pink heels, she raised the colors of inclusion.

Miss Martini, the first drag queen to carry the Olympic flame, in Digne
Miss Martini, the first drag queen to carry the Olympic flame, in Digne Photo AS

Many spectators came to follow the flame to Digne-les-Bains.

The passing of the flame to Digne
The passage of the flame to Digne. Photo Eric CAMOIN

After Colmars-les-Alpes, one of the smallest French towns to host the Olympic flame, it was the turn of Forcalquier to receive the precious torch!

Torch relay in the Alpes de Haute Provence. Here in Forcalquier.
Torch relay in the Alpes de Haute Provence. Here in Forcalquier. Photo Stéphane DUCLET

At 5:10 p.m., Adeline Billal, a liver transplant athlete, was the last torchbearer of the Olympic flame in Forcalquier. She crossed the finish line under a guard of honor from the public.

Adeline Bilal, an athlete with a liver transplant, is the last Olympic torchbearer in Forcalquier.
Adeline Bilal, an athlete with a liver transplant, is the last Olympic torchbearer in Forcalquier. Photo EF

Barcelonnette welcomed the flame. His arrival gave rise to a major sports festival with four Olympic villages installed in the capital city of the Ubaye valley.

Among the torchbearers at this stage, skier Terence Tchiknavorian, skicross champion, closed this historic relay, at Valle de Bravo Square, in front of the Town Hall, in front of a compact and enthusiastic crowd.

Terence Tchiknavorian, the skicross champion, closes this historic relay in Barcelonnette
Terence Tchiknavorian, the skicross champion, closes this historic relay in Barcelonnette Photo Sylvie Arnaud

The last torchbearer from Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, swimmer Ophélie-Cyrielle Étienne, Olympic medalist in 2012.

The last torchbearer from Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, swimmer Ophélie-Cyrielle Étienne, Olympic medalist in 2012.
The last torchbearer from Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, swimmer Ophélie-Cyrielle Étienne, Olympic medalist in 2012. Photo Eric CAMOIN
Many residents of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and neighboring departments waited for the flame throughout the afternoon at the Rochette stadium, in Manosque.
Many residents of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and neighboring departments waited for the flame throughout the afternoon at the Rochette stadium, in Manosque. Photo Jean-Christophe Magnenet

A dramatic twist for this end of the Olympic relay! The cauldron did not light. “There was a technical problem, the cauldron had been tested in the afternoon but during its installation, there must have been a connection problem” explained Grégory Murac, deputy director in charge of the relay within the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games.

But the guardians of the flame kept watch and the flame returned to the lantern, with which it had arrived this morning in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.

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