At the finish of a third stage in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence so far without a hitch, the Olympic cauldron, a large ring lit every evening throughout the flame’s journey, refused to burst into flames on Saturday May 11 in the evening, probably victim of a technical problem.

In Manosque, swimmer Ophélie-Cyrielle Etienne, bronze medalist in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay in London in 2012, tried twice, without success, to light the cauldron, which had nevertheless caught fire without problem on the previous days in Marseille then in Toulon.

It was the actor Charles Berling who lit the cauldron on Friday in Toulon, after the footballer Didier Drogba, former star of the Olympique de Marseille, at the Stade-Vélodrome the day before, for the first day of the relay.

The first cauldron was lit by Jul, the French rap star, on Wednesday evening in Marseille, on the Old Port, after the flame arrived from Greece aboard the three-masted Belem.

Embody the “unity values ​​of the Games”

The torch relay, which will last until July 26 in Paris, had so far gone smoothly on Saturday through the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, a rural and mountainous department where it notably carried out a notable passage in Sisteron, on the Baume rock, facing the Durance, as part of a collective relay by climbers from the Climbing Federation.

Among the dozens of torchbearers on Saturday were many anonymous people who keep sport alive in their department, civil service agents and even community activists. Among these, Martin Namias, alias Miss Martini, her drag queen name, campaigner for inclusion, who carried the flame to Digne-les-Bains. After covering her 200 meters perched on high heels, wearing a purple wig, Miss Martini explained to the France TV cameras that she wanted to represent the “values ​​of unity of the Olympic Games”.

Starting from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, passing through Sisteron and therefore Digne-les-Bains, where it was also carried by the former footballer Alain Boghossian, 1998 world champion, the flame then passed through the small village of Colmars- les-Alpes, then Forcalquier, Barcelonnette and finally Manosque.

On Sunday, she will be back in Bouches-du-Rhône, with a stopover in Cassis and an arrival in Arles.

In total, the Olympic “fire” will pass through the hands of ten thousand “scouts”, in four hundred cities in France, to complete its journey on the banks of the Seine and set the cauldron ablaze on July 26, during the ceremony. opening of the 2024 Paris Olympics, the third Parisian Games after 1900 and 1924.