Olympic Games 2024: the torch relay was launched with Basile Boli, legend of Marseille football

The Olympic torch relay began on Thursday, May 9, in Marseille, at the emblematic Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica, where Marseille football legend Basile Boli was the first to carry the torch, which will arrive in Paris for the Games, which will take place from July 26 to August 11

Olympic Games 2024: the torch relay was launched with Basile Boli, legend of Marseille football

The Olympic torch relay began on Thursday, May 9, in Marseille, at the emblematic Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica, where Marseille football legend Basile Boli was the first to carry the torch, which will arrive in Paris for the Games, which will take place from July 26 to August 11.

The former French international – sole scorer in the victory of Olympique de Marseille (OM) in the final of the 1993 European Champion Clubs' Cup – launched the relay under the famous golden statue of the Good Mother, which watches over the second largest city in France.

Dressed in white, like all the bearers, he then passed the baton, under a big blue sky, giving the “kiss of the torch” to Colette Cataldo, 83, historic supporter of OM, who sang Light the fire, by Johnny Hallyday.

“That’s it, it makes your heart beat and it’s fantastic. It’s the Olympic flame, it’s the symbol of sport, of living together, of everything we can hope for in the world,” commented Basile Boli. “Be careful, your relay will pass very quickly, take advantage of it! “, Tony Estanguet, president of the Organizing Committee for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, previously told them.

“We are going to deliver these moments of celebration every day”

“The start is important in sport,” he added. We’re off to a good start…now here we go! Every day we will deliver these moments of celebration and emotion. » Ten thousand torchbearers will follow one another in four hundred cities in France until the opening ceremony on July 26.

Several dozen people went up to the hill to witness this special moment and Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseille, was present in full regalia.

“It's a little muscular awakening, but like the Olympics in France, it's once every hundred years, it was worth it,” says smiling Julie Landon, 36, who came on foot from another district of Marseille . “It only lasts a few seconds, like the Tour de France, but it doesn’t matter, I wanted to participate. »

The flame must continue its path below, where hundreds of people are waiting for it, many of whom are also stationed at the windows of buildings. Marseille and Paris are the only two cities crossed for an entire day by the relay.

The first Olympic cauldron was set alight on Wednesday evening in the Old Port by Marseille rapper Jul, in front of 150,000 people, after a grandiose maritime parade on the Mediterranean Sea.