The Torch Bearers selection process
The Torch Relay is a key moment and an eagerly awaited part of the Games. In May 2024, 10,000 Torch Bearers will be forming a relay to celebrate the arrival of the Games in France: their selection is now underway!
In 2024, France will be welcoming the Torch again, after previously welcoming it for the Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble (1968) and the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Albertville (1992).
After being lit in Olympia, Greece, the Olympic Torch will start its journey at sea, on board the Bélem, a majestic three-masted ship, crossing the Mediterranean from Athens to Marseille. The Olympic Torch Relay will then set out across France, showcasing its various regions and communities, from the mainland to overseas departments and territories, offering everyone the possibility to see the Torch.
The Paralympic Torch will also be lit where it shone out for the first time: in Stoke Mandeville, in the UK. At the end of August, this Torch will cross the Channel for a Relay around France, before reaching Paris to light the cauldron during the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games.
The faces of the Forerunners Relay
The Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Torch Relay will be the “Forerunners Relays”, Forerunners who will pave the way for the celebrations in 2024 and will showcase the beauty of France’s natural and cultural heritage.
The Forerunners are all those who are committed to ensuring the success of the Paris 2024 Games Torch Relay, and all those who are getting ready to welcome it: Paris 2024 partners, communities, sporting movement stakeholders, public sector organisations, Club Paris 2024 members and members of the general public who will be mobilised along the whole route to celebrate the arrival of the Games.
The Olympic Torch and Paralympic Torch will soon be able to make their way around France because these “Forerunners” will make the longstanding dream of Paris 2024 a reality, 100 years after the Summer Olympic Games were last held in France. The Torch Bearers will be the faces of these “Forerunners Relays”. With their energy, they will be ramping up the atmosphere in the communities, helping get France in the mood to celebrate the Games.
Who will be the 11 000 Torch Bearers?
Previous Relays have seen some iconic Torch Bearers, such as Michel Platini (Albertville, 1992), Antonio Rebollo (Barcelona, 1992), Mohamed Ali (Atlanta, 1996), Cathy Freeman (Sydney, 2000) and David Beckham (London, 2012). But many less well-known people with extraordinary stories have also carried it with panache and distinction.
In 2024, 11,000 of them will have this privilege and share a positive message, full of enthusiasm: “The Games have arrived in France!”. The Torch Bearers will be selected based on their commitment, their dedication and their actions to bring to life at least one of the three energies from Paris 2024.
The first energy is of course that of sport and the Games: the energy of the athletes, volunteers and amateur sports persons from the various sports associations, and everyone who is part of the Games as volunteers, the employees of our various partners, and all the people who have been involved in this adventure since it began.
The second energy is that of the communities, symbolised by everyone who is running businesses, innovating, creating and embodying French excellence across all sectors, throughout France.
Lastly, the third energy, that of the collective, will be showcased through the selection of Torch Bearers who are taking action each day to build a more inclusive, more sustainable and fairer society with a stronger focus on solidarity.
The Torch Bearers will represent the outstanding diversity of our society: women and men, national and local public figures, as well as all the unknown people selected from among the general public, people with disabilities… to make the Relay an opportunity to promote a more inclusive society, with France organising the Paralympic Summer Games for the first time in its history. The same criteria for selecting Torch Bearers will be applied for both the Olympic Torch and the Paralympic Torch Relays.
How are they selected?
The entire Paris 2024 ecosystem is involved in selecting the Torch Bearers.
Thanks to their outstanding ability to mobilise their millions of employees and customers, the Games’ partner companies will play an important role, including the two official sponsors of the Torch Relays: Coca-Cola and Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne.
The communities, the sporting movement, the project’s stakeholders, including the French State, the City of Paris, Métropole du Grand Paris, the Seine-Saint-Denis Department and the Île-de-France Region, as well as Club Paris 2024, the Terre de Jeux 2024 representatives and the schools awarded the Generation 2024 label contribute to this selection process. There are various options for selection for the Olympic Torch Relay: nomination by a peer, call for candidates, selection in a draw or by a jury, or direct appointments.
The Paralympic Torch Bearers are selected directly by Paris 2024 and its ecosystem. During its campaign to nominate the Olympic Torch Bearers, Paris 2024 gathered interest from candidates to carry the Paralympic Flame.
The Torch Bearers will be announced at the beginning of 2024.
Club Paris 2024 Nomination Campaign
Club Paris 2024 conducted its nomination campaign in June 2023. Each member could nominate someone they would like to see carry the Olympic Torch. A unique chance to enable them to be part of this exceptional experience, because being a Torch Bearer is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
At the end of this campaign, 5,000 candidates were chosen in a draw, out of more than 20,000 complete nominations, to be analysed by selection panels set up across France and in French overseas territories. The lucky people selected will receive an official email confirming their participation at the start of 2024.