“Thank you zone”, the cauldron of the Olympic flame was set alight… by Jul! (videos)

In front of the Olympic cauldron, the surprise guest then revealed himself: and it was Jul, a 34-year-old rapper from Marseille, who had the honor of lighting the Olympic fire for the night.

“Thank you area”

“It’s crazy, it’s magical, for me it’s an honor. I am very proud for France and for Marseille especially. Thank you area! », Launched the musician to the audience.

“We succeeded in our bet for the unified French team, it was important for us as athletes, so well done,” commented Nantenin Keita, 2016 Paralympic champion in the 400 meters.

Upon its entry into the Old Port, under the eyes of President Emmanuel Macron, received by a few brief whistles, the Belem was greeted by a Marseillaise, by the flight of planes of the French patrol, which drew the Olympic rings in the sky, and by the unmissable “tifos”, these impressive banners of the supporters of the aptly named Olympique de Marseille.


On the wall of Fort Saint-Jean, the most gigantic banner, 150 m long, signed MASSALIA, honored the Greek origins of the Phocaean city, with the face of Gyptis, this young woman from a local tribe who is said to have fallen lover Protis, Greek sailor who landed in 600 BC. JC.

All in front of hundreds of thousands of people, 150,000 in the Old Port and 230,000 in the rest of the city, according to Mayor Benoît Payan.

“Today the flame is arriving, the Games are arriving and entering the lives of the French,” commented the Head of State on France Télévisions and TF1, after the ceremony: “We can be proud, (…) It’s the French people’s day and I want them to be proud of it.”


“It will remain engraved in our memory,” testified Margot Malinowski, 73 years old: “The atmosphere, the mix of people, it was great. Belem is magnificent.”

Disappointed that the guest responsible for lighting the cauldron was not Zinedine Zidane, the child of Marseille, the French football star, Jessy Pedrajas, a 21-year-old worker, who came from Istres (Bouches-du-Rhône) with his companion, was preparing to enjoy the evening, with a free concert by two other rappers from Marseille, Soprano and Alonzo.

Installed in the front row from 8:00 a.m., with a cooler and folding chairs, the couple had been waiting for hours “for the flame and for the concert”. And they finally had to wait an hour more, the show having been delayed after two crowd movements which caused some discomfort and “panic attacks” among the spectators, without “notion of gravity” according to the firefighters.

Soprano in any case was proud to sing at this great celebration: “It’s a great message that we are here, children from the northern districts of Marseille (the poorest in the city, Editor’s note), doing the Old Port, after everything we’ve been through,” the rapper commented to AFP in the afternoon.

“Look at the people on this port, it’s magical, it gives you goosebumps,” marveled Marie-José Perec, three-time Olympic athletics champion.

But the arrival of the flame did not only make people happy on Wednesday. A thousand people demonstrated to denounce the “rich Olympics”, with serious environmental consequences, and to demand the exclusion of Israel from the Games, as had been the apartheid regime of South Africa.



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