A source told Reuters that the Paris 2024 Olympics torchbearers may not all be able to keep their torches as cherished souvenirs of the Games because organizers plan to lower the number made in the name of sustainability.
It remains unclear how many flares, which usually burn a mixture of gases, will be produced for the thousands of runners who will run in next year’s relay before July-August 26. 11 Summer Olympics.
But organizers plan to make changes to the traditional relay, which lasts months through the host country, to make it more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
There will also be far fewer torches than the several thousand host cities usually produce for an Olympic relay, a source close to the planning process for the torch lighting and relay told Reuters.
The Olympic torchbearers, who each run a few hundred meters with their torch before using it to light the flame of the next runner, can usually purchase the torch as a souvenir of their participation.
“The organizers plan to no longer use individual torches for each of the runners,” the source said. “They plan to produce fewer and the reasons cited are sustainability concerns.”
The relay begins in the host country after the torch lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, the site of the ancient games.
No dates have been announced for the lighting ceremony of the flame in Greece, and the start of the relay in April 2024 in France, after the flame arrived in the southern port of Marseille.
Paris organizers told Reuters there would still be a traditional relay transfer between runners in a more environmentally friendly version of the relay.
“With the aim of reducing our environmental impact, we are thinking of another model so that everyone can keep a souvenir of this unique moment and share it with their entourage and as many people as possible,” an official at Paris 2024 told Reuters.
The organizers have not commented on the number of flares that will be produced, saying that it is still “a work in progress”.
The Tokyo Games relay in 2021 employed around 10,000 torchbearers. More than 12,000 Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic torches ran, while the London 2012 Summer Olympics had more than 8,000 torchbearers.
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