When the Tokyo Games came to an end, Paris officially became the next host city of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. At the closing ceremony in Japan, the Olympic and Paralympic flags were entrusted to the presidents of the IOC and the IPC, Thomas Bach and Andrew Parsons respectively, as well as the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. Since their arrival on French soil, the flags have not stopped travelling – sharing symbols of the Games with as many people in France as possible.
A first flag depicting the Olympic rings, a second with the Paralympic Agitos and a third bearing the Paris 2024 emblem are all currently touring France. The Olympic flag arrived on 9 August and the Paralympic flag arrived on 6 September, and their tour began in Seine-Saint-Denis on 8 September. A number of regions welcomed the flags in September and October, for the first stage of the tour: Greater Paris, Pays-de-la-Loire, Hauts-de-France, Brittany, Grand-Est, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, ProvenceAlpes-Côte d’Azur, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and more.
The flags go on tour for the first time ever
In general, the flags tend to stay put in the future host city of the Games – but Paris 2024 and the City of Paris wanted to share them with the regions that will host events in 2024, as well as towns that hold the Terre de Jeux 2024 label, in order to share the spirit of the Games with the whole of France. Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, said, “Since the very beginning, we have aimed to include people all over France in the Paris 2024 project. The arrival of the Olympic and Paralympic flags is a symbolic moment that we wanted to share with them.”
A number of local authorities responded to the invitation to host the flags in their towns, eager to be part of this popular and festive occasion that has united athletes and the local sporting movement. Over 50,000 people have taken part in the tour so far, attending parades, receptions at city council buildings, celebrations of athletes returning from Tokyo, visits to towns’ sporting sites and opportunities for children to meet local athletes, as well as concerts, sporting events and more.
The flag tour has already covered over 4,500 km. It will briefly go up at Paris City Council, before going on the move again – travelling all over France until 2024.
11 October: Amiens
13 October: Andrézieux-Bouthéon
16 October: Elancourt
© Jeremy Josselin/ Black Deer