TESTIMONY. Paris 2024 Olympic Games: “It was snowing, it was magical!” Jean Dupin, bearer of the Olympic flame in 1992 in Toulouse, remembers

TESTIMONY. Paris 2024 Olympic Games: “It was snowing, it was magical!” Jean Dupin, bearer of the Olympic flame in 1992 in Toulouse, remembers
TESTIMONY. Paris 2024 Olympic Games: “It was snowing, it was magical!” Jean Dupin, bearer of the Olympic flame in 1992 in Toulouse, remembers

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Responsible for guiding five teenagers during their Olympic torch relay between Tournefeuille and Toulouse, Jean Dupin, remembers this magical night of January 22, 2022 as a prelude to the Albertville Olympics.

Jean Dupin keeps his Albertville Olympic flame escort outfit as a relic. By touching the fabric, memories of that famous winter of 1992 come to the surface. “I had been instructed by the director of the Post Office

to support the five teenagers who were going to carry it between Tournefeuille and the entrance to Toulouse on January 22, 1992. For two months, we trained every week to be ready for the big day. It was very joyful but the young people applied a lot. We conscientiously rehearsed our scales. The fear, of course, was to make her fall”, remembers this former amateur athlete of good level (2 min 44 in the 1000 meters).
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His role was to regulate the handover but also to run alongside the torchbearers throughout the journey. “The pressure mounted as the event got closer. But when the procession set off, we all felt an indescribable feeling of joy.”

The Capitol in meltdown

From the first strides, he understands that he is experiencing an episode that will remain engraved in history. “It was night. It was snowing, it was magical. I had found my twenty-year-old legs. I was flying. I immediately understood that I was not participating in an ordinary party but in something grandiose. moment, symbol of peace and fraternity between peoples”, he said with a moved look. To the cheers of the crowd, the young people carry out their mission perfectly under the complicit gaze of their mentor who runs alongside them.

“At every street corner, there was an incredible crowd. I had the impression of participating in a big stage of the Tour de France but without the zigotos milling around behind the riders,” laughs the octogenarian. The route is precise. The tempo is provided by a vehicle at the front of the procession. The sweeper car picks up the torchbearer once he has completed one kilometer. “Normally, our journey should have stopped at the entrance to the Pink City but when the convoy arrived near the Pont Neuf, the organizers told us that we could join the runners at the head of the procession. So we We were able to enter the Place du Capitole, packed with people. This remains for me the most exceptional moment of the evening. There was the same fervor as when Stade Toulousain wins the Brennus.
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The decor is magical. Plastic picks are erected on the square and one of the flame bearers lights a large raised basin, a symbol of the ancient era. Everything is broadcast live on the 8 p.m. news. Later in the evening, in the premises of La Dépêche du Midi, the torch is presented to Evelyne-Jean Baylet, general director of the daily since the accidental death of her husband. “In the car on the way back, our boss was full of praise for this lady. He praised her charisma and her great intelligence,” confides Jean Dupin.

The former postal worker will not be there when Antoine Dupont lights the cauldron this Friday at the Capitol. “The crowd is no longer really for me but I will go along the path of the flame to rekindle these wonderful memories,” promises the Toulouse resident.

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