In Alsace and Moselle, the Olympic “flame” comes before the Olympic flame

In Alsace and Moselle, the Olympic “flame” comes before the Olympic flame
In Alsace and Moselle, the Olympic “flame” comes before the Olympic flame

Yellow headband and fanny pack, flocked t-shirt, banner and above all a shovel and tarte flambée on top… They don’t go unnoticed! Since Friday June 21, a strange procession has been wandering between Strasbourg and Metz. It’s the passing of the “Olympic flame”!

“We bring it to people who cannot be on the path of the flame,” smiles Frédéric Herbin, one of the cheerful acolytes at the origin of this slightly crazy challenge. It was his friend, Denis Hawner, who came up with the idea at the end of last year. “I wanted to make the Olympics my own because you only experience them once. I asked myself what I could do about it and it came about through imagination,” explains the Mosellan.

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He had first thought of following the Olympic flame in a “pizza van,” but it was complicated to reach the Antilles on the water. Turning to a local specialty and staying in the region then seemed simpler. “Flamekueche is our gastronomy, our history too,” adds the forty-year-old. “We don’t want to compete with the passage of the real Olympic flame but to offer something popular. By going out to meet people. »

All, therefore, between Strasbourg and Metz. But not in a straight line, “by side roads”. That is, eight stages of 10 to 43 km maximum, to arrive at a total of 202.4 km, reference to the year of the Olympics. “We organized our trips according to places where we could sleep but also where we could change our mood,” continues Frédéric Herbin.

“For a good work”

The famous specialty does not always arrive at its destination in good condition. Saturday, a rainy day, was complicated. “But the advantage was that it stuck well to the aluminum shovel,” continues, not without humor, the director of a hazardous waste transport company. “We also do a relay between pizza makers,” says his sidekick.

This Monday for example, it was Christelle who was waiting for them near her ATM in Achen (Moselle). “We identified the pizzeria that my husband and I run in Bitche on Facebook. We found it nice and very funny,” reacts the entrepreneur. “Their play on words is nice and what’s more, it’s for a good cause. »

Aperitif, cow horn…

All donations received along the route will go to the Moselle departmental adapted sports committee. “The objective is to raise 2,024 euros,” announces Denis Hawner who also received gifts in kind. Like his 20 kg of potatoes offered by a farmer. “We took them for ourselves and donated the amount,” he explains, rejoicing at the wonderful encounters made. “People first look surprised and then we start talking, it’s pleasant. Then walkers from the Vosges Club came to accompany us, we were invited to an aperitif at people’s houses, a farmer made us drink from a cow’s horn… It’s an extraordinary human adventure! »

Which will therefore end in Metz on Thursday, also the day of the arrival of the Olympic flame. “The flame will not go out”, promise the joyful companions, “not at (their) first adventure”. With their group of friends, they had already organized “an office chair race”, a “24-hour single-song karaoke on My freedom of thought » or even “ten kilometers in bathrobe flip-flops”. Maybe Olympic events one day.

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