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Greece hands over Olympic Flame to Paris 2024 Games organizers

29 April 2024 09:00 (UTC+04:00)
Greece hands over Olympic Flame to Paris 2024 Games organizers

The Olympic Flame burning for the Paris 2024 Summer Games was handed over on Friday to the French organizers in a ceremony held at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens, Azernews reports citing to Xinhua.

At the marble venue of the first modern Olympics of 1896, Hellenic Olympic Committee President and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Spyros Capralos passed the flame to Tony Estanguet, president of the organizing committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games "Paris 2024".

"Once again the Olympic Flame will spread across the world the Olympic ideals...It reminds us values such as solidarity and peace," Capralos said, addressing the event.

The French delegation left the stadium with Greek hosts' best wishes for successful Games. The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics will be held from July 26 to August 11.

Greek and French officials, IOC members, other dignitaries and thousands of cheering spectators attended Friday's event which marked the end of the torch relay on Greek soil.

The Olympic Flame's journey started on April 16 from Ancient Olympia in western Greece, the birthplace of the Games 2,800 years ago. The flame was lit in a traditional ceremony next to the ancient stadium at where athletes competed for first time in antiquity.

Greek race walking world champion Antigoni Drisbiotis was the first torchbearer to bring the Flame to the Panathenaic Stadium on Friday.

The last torchbearer on Greek soil was Ioannis Fountoulis, captain of Greece's national polo team which won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Fountoulis was escorted by his teammates as he lit the cauldron.

After a choreography by dancers and actors in the roles of Ancient Greek priestesses and male youth, Greek actress Mary Mina acting as an ancient Greek High Priestess, lit a torch from the cauldron.

She passed it to Capralos who then handed the Flame to Estanguet.

"Thank you. See you in Marseille in May 8th," Estanguet said speaking in Greek.

At the end of the ceremony, the flame was transported to Piraeus port to head for the port of Marseille on board Belem, a three-masted vessel that was launched in 1896. Belem was scheduled to depart on Saturday for France for the second part of the relay that will end in Paris for the opening ceremony of July 26.


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