This is when the Olympic flame will pass near Belgium

This is when the Olympic flame will pass near Belgium
This is when the Olympic flame will pass near Belgium

Lhe journey of the Olympic flame is still long. After a nine-day journey in Greece and a slow crossing of the Mediterranean aboard a vintage three-masted ship, she finally left her bags on French territory. She arrived in Marseille this Wednesday, May 8. The first festivities which take place in the Marseille city are only a warm-up. To finish its marathon in Paris, the Olympic symbol must still cross around 65 territories (five overseas), 400 cities and 65 festivities and closing sporting events.

The journey of the flame is far from being a detail in the organization of the Games among our French neighbors. Lit in the sanctuary of Olympia in homage to the Games of ancient Greece, it passes through the hands of a myriad of bearers before announcing the launch of the Olympics this July 26 on the Seine in Paris. Some 10,000 torchbearers (including 3,000 collectively) are selected to carry the object for around four minutes over a distance of 200 meters. 30% of the carriers are selected by the organization and the sports movement, another third by the sponsors of the torch relay BPCE (bank and insurance) and Coca-Cola, another third by the other partners of the Olympic Games. The remaining 10% are chosen by the territories hosting the flame.

A trip to Belgium?

After the day’s festivities, she will begin her “7,000 x 200 meter relay” in the south of France. Large cities like Toulon, Montpellier, Carcassonne and Toulouse are on the program. It will then head towards Dordogne, Charente, Vendée and will arrive around June 7 in Finistère for its 27e stage. From Brest, she will continue her diplomatic journey by boat to reach, among others, Guyana and Reunion (the French overseas territories).

AFP.

The Olympic flame will finally return to mainland France after nine days at sea. After an attack from the east of France, it finally returns to the North Sea. It’s only July 2, for the 46e stage, that the “transmissions of witnesses” will take place at the Belgian border. After a stop in Tourcoing (next to Mouscron), the relay will celebrate the city of Lille. According to the organization’s website, celebrations will take place on the Champ de Mars, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

After its passage in the North, the lazy person will travel towards Paris to visit in particular the castles of Versailles or Chambord and a series of other iconic places in the capital. It will end with great fanfare on the Seine on July 26 for an opening ceremony which, for once, will not take place in an Olympic stadium.

A long-distance race that rarely goes without incidents

Due to its symbolic importance, the journey of the flame resembles the journey of a head of state. The last time it passed through Paris in 2008, the Olympian torch witnessed clashes between activists and the police. Against a backdrop of tension between China, which organized the Games, and Tibet, pro-Tibetan activists disrupted its passage. Several times, the relay was sheltered in a security bus.

Extensive security measures will be deployed at each stage. At the time of the announcement of the route in June 2023, sources close to Cojo already told AFP that “some people risk trying something, that activists from Extinction Rebellion or who knows where will throw things on the flame, to block the route. We obviously took that into account.” Given the strike notices which had already been filed by French unions on April 10, it is difficult to imagine a path without surprises.

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