PARIS (AFP) - There will be 10,000 torchbearers to carry the Olympic flame as it passes through some 60 French departments ahead of the 2024 Games, Paris Olympic organizers announced on Tuesday.
After the flame is lit in the traditional ceremony in Olympia, Greece, it will arrive by sea in Marseille aboard the three-master Belem on May 8.
From there it will travel across France on its way to the Olympic opening ceremony in the capital on July 26.
There has been speculation that the Olympic flame will be placed on the Eiffel Tower, but the president of the organizing committee, Tony Estanguet, told a press conference the final destination had not been decided.
“The Eiffel Tower has not been decided as the lighting location for the cauldron,” he said.
A novelty this time is “collective relays”, which could be groups of up to 24 people, with one carrying the torch.
There will be 3,000 collective and 7,000 individual torchbearers, including equal numbers of men and women aged 15 and over.
Each torchbearer will carry the flame for around 4 minutes over a distance of 200 meters.
A third of the torchbearers will be selected by the organizing committee and the sports bodies, another third by relay sponsors Coca-Cola and French bank BPCE, another third by other Olympic partners, and the final 10 percent by the regions hosting the relay.
The International Olympic Committee forbids elected officials and religious figures carrying the flame.