“I thought it was a brilliant idea”: the Olympic torch relay arrives in Loiret

“I thought it was a brilliant idea”: the Olympic torch relay arrives in Loiret
“I thought it was a brilliant idea”: the Olympic torch relay arrives in Loiret

The Olympic flame begins its journey on Wednesday, July 10, at Malesherbois and ends in Orléans, where the cauldron ceremony will take place.

It comes directly from Loir-et-Cher. The Olympic flame will be in our department on Wednesday, July 10. Seven municipalities are preparing to welcome it: Le Malesherbois, Sully-sur-Loire, Montargis, Neuville-aux-Bois, Gien, Meung-sur-Loire and Orléans. In total, 23 km will be covered; one hundred torchbearers will carry the flame; they will each cover 200 meters.

The Department mobilized for this event. Its president Marc Gaudet looks back on how it was done.

Why was it important to host the torch relay?

“As soon as the initiative to raise the flame across the country was launched, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Especially since it involved local authorities. It’s a good message that is being sent through this channel. The department is the right territorial network for this type of operation. Neither too big nor too small. It’s a good way to create excitement.”

But the cost of this operation – €180,000 including tax allocated by the Department – ​​has caused controversy…

“Indeed. We have to be realistic: in the context of financial tension that we are in today, it is certain that we would not have been able to follow through, we would not have been able to afford this additional expense. But we accepted it at the time, and we have no regrets. It is a unique operation, a major operation!”

Route of the Olympic flame in Loiret, choice of stopover towns, number of torchbearers… We’ll tell you more

It is the Department which chose the stopover towns…

“Yes. And I must admit that I have a little crush on Neuville-aux-Bois. It was named one of the most sporting towns in France in its category! It has great facilities. It has barely 5,000 inhabitants but has invested a lot. I wanted it to be on the route. We also chose Sully, to highlight the castle. Among other things.”

The countdown has begun. Are you ready?

“Yes. Of course there is a little apprehension because it is not a trivial event. But everything is very well planned. It is going to be a great operation, which will in particular unite amateur sportsmen and women in the region.”


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Blandine Lamorisse



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