The Organizing Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Paris 2024 took the innovative decision for the transfer of the Olympic Flame to France.

Thousands of torchbearers will carry the flame to the host city, with the flame ending its journey once it lights the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony to declare the opening of the Games.

The transport of the Flame from Athens to Marseille is symbolic as the two cities have had links and influence in the Mediterranean. Marseille, founded over 2,600 years ago, is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France.

After being lit in Olympia, the site of the Ancient Olympic Games, the flame will then travel to Marseille in the south of France, on the Bélem, a three-masted vessel that first took to the seas in 1896. It is the last of the great French ships of the 19th Century to still be in use, and will connect Athens to Marseille.

The Bélem, will cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Marseille. Photo: Hellenic Olympic Committee/Supplied

The Olympic Torch Relay is a symbol of peace, unity and friendship between people. The torch carries the sacred fire that has been lit with the sun’s rays in a ceremony on the site of Ancient Olympia as a tribute to the Ancient Olympic Games.

The Bélem, will cross the Mediterranean Sea to arrive in Marseille, as the first stop of the torch relay on French territory to continue its journey to Paris and the Opening Ceremony on July 26. The Torch Relay route will be revealed in May 2023.

“This important event will give people a taste of the spirit of the Games that will be seen in Marseille in the summer when 800 athletes will be welcomed, 10 sailing events and 10 football matches will take place,” said Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024.

“Marseille is a town that promotes sports all across France as we have the sea, the sun, football, Stade de Marseille, skateboard, all the sports possible… I think the city will be proud.”