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“Coming back here is very symbolic”: the emotions of Laura Manaudou, the bearer of fire in Olympia

Twenty years after her three medals at the Athens Games, Laura Manadou stands in front of the statue, paying tribute to Pierre de Coubertin. A few minutes earlier, Greek Olympic rowing champion Stefanos Douskos had broken through the crowd after the High Priestess had lit her torch.

The first “torchkis” of the XXXIII Olympiad took place. With a torch designed by Mathieu Lehanneur in one hand and an olive branch in the other, Laura Manadou sets off several hectometers, becoming the first French carrier of the 2024 Games.

“The anticipation was a bit stressful, as well as the stress of knowing when my torch would be lit,” smiles Laura Manaudou. There was no need to ruin the situation. It was a very nice moment that went by very quickly, but I was able to enjoy it.”

The Queen of the Athens Games admits that she is glad to return to Greece. “I was told this morning that the circle has come full circle, but in my head these memories will forever remain. Coming back here is very symbolic, I did not have the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings, enjoy the ceremony. So I tell myself that the job is done! I’m glad I carried the flame for the first time here in Greece. »

The flame will arrive in France on May 8th.

The former swimmer had a choice: to carry the flame to the Gironde, where she lives, and to Olympia. “I think it’s more symbolic here. »

Another tricolor athlete carries the torch in Greece, Gabriella Papadakis, invited by Coca-Cola, the torch relay’s sponsor. For her, this will a priori be at the Athens stadium, where on Friday, April 26, the transfer of the Greek Olympic Committee to Paris 2024 will take place. The skater will be accompanied by her mother, originally from Greece.

Another strong symbol of this relay that is just beginning: the flame will arrive in France on May 8th. In Marseille, famous athletes such as Jean-Pierre Papin are expected at the velodrome, and Florent Manaudou is expected to wear the white suit of a porter.

Source: Le Parisien

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