“The flame will not be late”, in Lorient, last rehearsals for the disabled sports relay

“The flame will not be late”, in Lorient, last rehearsals for the disabled sports relay
“The flame will not be late”, in Lorient, last rehearsals for the disabled sports relay

“Eight minutes including four breaks to cover 400 m, we’re going to have to run, we’re never going to get there! “. “Is the course flat? », “How will I succeed in carrying the flame? “. One week away from carrying the flame through the streets of Lorient on June 6, the disabled sports collective relay met this Wednesday for a final briefing. There are 24 people chosen: high-level athletes, disabled sports activists, athletes with visible or invisible disabilities, from 14 to 77 years old. Wendy Bazire already has sparkling eyes. This 15-year-old deaf teenager practices horse riding. She can’t wait for June 6 but has only one fear: “Drop the flame!” I have balance problems and I’m clumsy,” smiles the young girl.

“I’m so happy but also stressed”

“You have an appointment at 6 a.m., at the relay center, the Moustoir stadium. You will receive your outfit and then there will be a collective briefing with all the torchbearers,” recalls Hassan Hafssa, director of the Morbihan departmental disabled sports committee. This is the first time that a collective relay has participated in the passing of the flame. Each federation has two in France and the disabled sports federation chose Morbihan and Lorient, after Gard, for its second relay. This Wednesday, Hassan recalls the choreography that was chosen. Only the captain, Léonie Saliou will travel with the flame followed by her 23 teammates. “It’s something crazy, I’m so happy but also stressed but I have good support with the relay team.” The 14-year-old fencer, who had one leg amputated three years ago, will nevertheless let the torch be passed on to the other torchbearers during a four-minute stop, as Hassan shows on the screen. The organization is meticulous, “the flame will not be delayed. Eight minutes is the duration of the torch gas cartridge,” he warns.

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The collective disabled sports relay of the Olympic flame, almost complete, for the last briefing before D-day, June 6, in Lorient. (Le Télégramme/Céline Le Strat)

Disabled sports highlighted

The accompanying people do not hide their pride at seeing their loved ones participate in a part of history. “It’s unimaginable, a magnificent experience. The objective will be to see her, to take a photo of her,” confides Julie Bazire, Wendy’s mother. Hassan reassures the participants “At Moustoir, before the relay, you can take a photo with the torch, extinguished”. The questions are also logistical for torchbearers who sometimes have difficulty getting around, who are not used to being put forward and who did not imagine being able to take part in such an organization. “Come as you are, be comfortable,” reassures Hassan. We are not going to ask you to pull up your pants to show your prosthesis, we are not in the representation.” Everyone is already “honored” to have been chosen for this unique relay, and are waiting to make history. “Don’t forget to wake up, eh,” Hassan slips. There is little chance of that happening.

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