Mediterranean airs for this 2nd day of the Olympic Torch Relay on French soil

Mediterranean airs for this 2nd day of the Olympic Torch Relay on French soil
Mediterranean airs for this 2nd day of the Olympic Torch Relay on French soil

In Saint-Raphaël, para sport at the heart of the collective relay

The French Handisport Federation offered spectators at the CREPS in Boulouris a tour of the track with 24 of its licensees. The star of the day was Antoine Avati: this football enthusiast, suffering from Little syndrome, dreams of becoming a Games medalist. The young captain, aged 13, proudly opened the day with his team. Among them, emerging or already established para athletes such as Jean-Louis Boilot, bronze medalist at the Toronto Paralympic Games in table tennis, Marion Parent, wheelchair rugby player, Charlotte Cocriamont, former player of the French Boccia team, Nicolas Jouanserre, member of the French wheelchair basketball team and also Makasidy Omar, selected for the French team during the last Deaflympics.

This collective relay was also an opportunity to highlight those who work every day for the recognition of para sport, like Bernard Tassaro, involved for more than 26 years in the Handisport movement, notably on the Handisport Provence- regional committee. Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and caregivers, who support people with disabilities every day, like Mélanie Felz, a physiotherapist who uses sport to help children with motor disabilities thrive.

This symbolic moment demonstrates the department’s commitment to the accessibility of sport for all, in particular with the Pomponiana Olbia functional rehabilitation institute which promotes inclusive sporting practice for people with severe disabilities. A strong message is to be remembered: offering an adapted practice that meets the abilities of each person.

In Toulon, local culture and sport in the spotlight

More than 120 Torch Bearers took turns on this second day of the Torch Relay in France, including local personalities and athletes who made and left their mark on the region’s sporting history. Bernard Lemaître, president of the Racing Club de Toulon and Guillaume Mélenchon, president of the Toulon Provence Méditerranée wheelchair rugby club, proudly represented Toulon rugby.

Marielle Goitschel, alpine ski champion, was also there. With 2 Olympic gold medals, including one obtained at the 1968 Grenoble Games, and 7 world champion titles, Marielle is a monument of Var sport.

The presence of Richard Virenque, the Tour de France rider who has won the polka dot jersey for the best climber the most times, delighted the Toulon spectators. A few slots later, it was Domingo, the streamer passionate about sporting challenges, who was able to carry the Flame in his turn. The rest of the festivities took place at Place de la Liberté, where the celebration site was set up. The actor and director Charles Berling, at the head of the Théâtre Liberté in Toulon, was the last flame bearer of the day and set the Cauldron ablaze!

A tightrope walker on the historic facades of Toulon, a project labeled Cultural Olympiad

Antoine le Ménestrel offered two colorful performances to the thousands of Toulon residents and curious people present for the occasion. The dancer-climber first crossed the roofs of the buildings on Place de la Liberté before dancing under a zip line crossing the square, from the Galeries Lafayette to the Grand Hôtel, for a show entitled “Service on all floors”.

The public was placed at the heart of this experience: a true artistic fusion between dance, street arts, climbing and acrobatics. Later in the afternoon, the tightrope walker gave a performance of the show “Lines of Life” on the facade of the Town Hall.
Tomorrow, the journey of the Olympic Flame continues in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. On the program in particular: stroll in the citadel of Sisteron, passage to the Haute-Provence Geopark, in the Ubaye valley and arrival in Manosque, a Provençal town of character where the cauldron will be lit at the end of the day.

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