After Rafael Nadal in 2018, Fernando Alonso in 2014 or Raymond Poulidor in 1978, a new great sportsman has been chosen by the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to start the 2023 edition, the one marking the centenary of the famous race. automobile. The four-time NBA champion LeBron James has indeed been named official starter. In a press release, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) is delighted to welcome "one of the greatest sportsmen in history", "legendary American basketball player and philanthropist".
Every year since 1949, the ACO has entrusted a personality with the task of lowering the tricolor flag at the start. These celebrities can come from the world of sport, cinema, politics or even business. In 2016, we were able to see Brad Pitt give the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, like Alain Delon in 1996, Georges Pompidou in 1972 or Steve McQueen in 1971. The official starter for 2022, the latest to date, was Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies.
“It is an honor for me to be part of this historic moment in motorsport and to help celebrate the centenary of one of the greatest sporting events in the world. I can't wait to get this iconic race started," said the 38-year-old basketball player, also a two-time Olympic champion with the United States.