Paris 2024 organisers to mark 500 days to go with 24-hour worldwide Relay

 Organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics plan to mark 500 days until the start of the Games today by staging a 24-hour Relay in conjunc­tion with the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, embas­sies and overseas territories.

Today, March 14, marks 500 days until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

The Relay is set to feature sport­ing activities at 9am for one hour in all five continents.

This is a similar initiative to the one which ran last year on April 6 to mark International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, featur­ing 44 overseas embassies and more than 8,000 participants.

A total of 128 embassies, con­sulates, permanent representations of France and overseas French territories are set to pay tribute to their sports and athletes today, starting in New Zealand finishing in French Polynesia at Teahupo’o, where Paris 2024 surfing events are due to be held.

The Baton is to be passed on to embassies and territories in the next time zone through social media over the course of 24 hours.

More than 100 athletes are  expected to take part in around 40 sports.

Irish Para swimmer, Ellen Keane, a gold medallist at Tokyo 2020, and Olympic boxing champi­on Kelly Harrington are among the athletes set to take part.

French volleyball Olympic champion, Jean Patry, is set to take part at the event in Italy, and Argen­tina’s two-time judo medallist, Paula Pareto, in her home country.

A group of around 40 people are set to compete in a race along the River Seine in Paris, which is to be started by French Min­ister of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudea-Castera.

This is a nod to the Paris 2024 Olympics Opening Ceremony which is due to take place along the Seine.

France’s consulate in Brisbane is set to arrange for an eight-per­son rowing boat to pass through the city along the Brisbane River, a Relay race is due to be held along the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and a solidarity race is set to be staged in Turkey following last month’s devastating earthquakes.

Each of the embassies and territories taking part is set to bear the “Terre de Jeux 2024” label, translating to “Playground 2024”.

Paris 2024 President, Tony Estanguet, said that the Relay would be a fitting way to mark the land­mark date.

“In just over 500 days’ time, Paris and France will welcome the world and this Relay will enable the whole world to celebrate sport for 24 hours non-stop,” he said.

“We are grateful to all the terri­tories and embassies involved in this second edition of the Relay, which is being organised as part of the Terre de Jeux 2024 programme.

“Crossing 116 countries and overseas territories and with 20,000 participants, the Relay will be even bigger than before.

“It highlights the role of sport, which gives us the opportunity to work together, to share experiences and to push through our own limits, together.

“On 14 March, this message will be broadcast all over the world thanks to the Relay and its ambas­sadors.”

Paris is due to host the Olym­pics for the third time from July 26 to August 11 2024, followed by the Paralympics from August 28 to September 8. —insidethegames

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