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Usain Bolt kicks off 2024 Olympic torch relay in Paris

The eight-time Olympic champion expects the 2024 Olympic opening ceremony to be the best to date

Usain Bolt Photo by: Kevin Morris

On Tuesday, under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt helped kick off the Olympic torch relay ceremony, unveiling the torch and marking 365 days until the start of the 2024 Olympic Games.

The world record holder in the men’s 100m, 200m, and 4x100m events, Bolt proudly hoisted the torch high into the air, captivating the audience with his signature lightning-bolt pose. The sight of the world’s fastest man with the symbolic torch filled the air with excitement as thousands of Parisians turned up in anticipation of the upcoming games.

“I’m happy to be here,” said Bolt, the retired sprinter. “Paris has always been a city that I enjoyed competing and hanging out in. I’m excited for the Olympics next year. I’ll be here with my family.”

During the ceremony, Bolt unveiled the Olympic torch alongside Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet. The eight-time Olympic champion was paraded through the cheering crowd of spectators, waving French flags, as he unveiled and carried the torch around.

The opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympics is scheduled for July 26, 2024, and it will be the first Olympic ceremony in history to take place outside the traditional stadium setting, on boats, along the picturesque River Seine in front of an audience of over half a million spectators. The unveiling took place on the banks of the iconic river, which also inspired the design of the torch.

“I think it’s gonna be one of the best, if not the best, opening ceremony,” said Bolt to reporters. “Imagine everybody standing outside, across the bridges cheering people up. It’s never been done before…”

The torch, crafted with lightweight polished steel and a champagne hue, boasts a remarkable design imitating the reflection of the Eiffel Tower on the rippled surface of the Seine. This creative touch aims to convey a sense of peaceful energy, reflecting the spirit of Paris and the Games.

Cardboard beds for athletes to return at Paris 2024 Olympics

The Olympic flame will be ignited on April 16, 2024, in the ancient city of Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Games, symbolizing the beginning of the torch’s journey to Paris. The torch relay will pass through various French cities and landmarks, including the Pantheon in Paris and the picturesque Mont Saint-Michel, before the torch is passed to some of France’s overseas territories.

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