SPORT The Olympic flame made a stop in Nîmes!

One of the 2,000 official replicas was present this morning at the Nîmes Courbet branch of Banque Populaire du Sud.

Official sponsor of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games torch relay and premium partner of the event, Banque Populaire du Sud wanted to organize an event before the start of the Olympic Games (July 26 – August 11). Thus, under the leadership of Fabien Jaquet, one of the group’s employees, the Nîmes Courbet agency had the opportunity to host one of the 2,000 official replicas of the Olympic flame.

Without being able to turn it on and by handling it carefully, some privileged people had the chance to touch it and pose with it. For the occasion, Banque Populaire had invited several personalities including Philippe Granier, president of BHNM, David Tebib, president of USAM and the LNH, Philipp Montagut, president of the Departmental Olympic and Sports Committee. The latter participated in the Olympic Day organized by the University of Nîmes a few weeks ago.

First deputy Julien Plantier also came to lift the Olympic flame • Photo Corentin Corger

Athletes were also present, such as Alain Portes. The 62-year-old former Nîmes handball player won a bronze medal with the Blues in 1992 in Barcelona. “Behind this label of Les Bronzés and then Les Barjots, you can’t imagine the number of hours of work that go into it and sometimes it’s a bit frustrating not to talk about that and that we only talk about the festive side of these guys”wanted to highlight the person concerned who came with his trinket in order to pay tribute to, the consecration of a group that had experienced so much hardship to get there.”

“They were there with us and they weren’t showing off.”

While welcoming this duty of remembrance, the former USAM player (1980-1994) recounted anecdotes, particularly about the American basketball players of the Dream Team, “They were there with us and they weren’t showing off” and also spoke about his experience 20 years later as coach of Tunisia at the London Olympics. “Building great friendships with other athletes”this is how he partly sums up the chance to participate in an Olympiad.

Alain Portes also pays tribute to the Nîmes fencer Olivier Lenglet, silver medalist in team épée in 1984 in Los Angeles and gold in 1988 in Seoul. A fitting transition to hand over the microphone to Enzo Giorgi, the disabled fencer, who was unable to qualify for the Paris Paralympic Games. Even if it is no consolation, he had the opportunity to carry the Olympic flame during the official route in Perpignan, on May 15. “While it had been raining hard for 20 minutes and we were soaked, a big rainbow appeared as I handed over the baton, which symbolised the end of my adventure for Paris 2024”, he concludes nicely.

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