The organisers of the Paris Olympics made the announcement on Friday that the torch relay will begin in the southern port of Marseille in April 2024.
A three-masted ship will transport the Olympic torch from Greece to Marseille, the spiritual home of the Games. It will set the tone for the Games’ opening ceremony, which will be held in Paris on the Seine.
“Paris 2024,” the event’s organizers said in a statement, “will have the honor and good fortune to be the first city to welcome the Olympic flame on French soil in the spring of 2024.”
“The Belem, a majestic three-masted ship, will carry the flame across the Mediterranean Sea from Athens to Marseille, two cities closely connected by a shared history.
In the year 600 BC, the Greek colony of Massalia was established on the French Mediterranean coast. Marseille would eventually emerge from the settlement.
Marseille, according to chief organizer Tony Estanguet, “was a natural and clear choice” to host the torch’s arrival.
For the Games, sailing events will be held in Marseille.
The Olympic Games in Paris will take place in 2024 from July 26 to August 11.