Olympic flame to take seaborne journey to 2024 Paris Games

Olympia Olympic Torch Olympic flames

Instead of arriving overland, the symbolic Olympic flame that will alight the 2024 Paris Games will take to the seas from its birthplace in Greece and arrive in the Ancient Greek-founded port of Marseille in France aboard a three-masted tall ship.

Paris organisers announced the flame’s journey on Friday at City Hall in Marseille, a former Greek colony founded 2,600 years ago.

According to tradition, the flame will be lit by the sun’s rays at a ceremony in Ancient Olympia. Then it will be carried by the Olympic torch to Athens and across the Mediterranean to the famed Old Port of Marseille, where the flame will be greeted by an armada of boats along the French coastline, organisers said.

READ MORE: Marseille: France's Iconic Greek-founded City.

It will travel to the Marseille marina – where Olympic sailing competitions will be based –and the Marseille stadium hosting Olympic soccer games, according to the organizers.

After that it will be carried overland in the traditional torch relay, before arriving in Paris to light the cauldron and officially open the 2024 Games, which run July 26-August 11.

Friday’s announcement came as the general assembly of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee was meeting in Kyiv to discuss a possible boycott of Paris 2024 if Russian athletes are allowed to compete.

The International Olympic Committee last week sought to chart a path for athletes from Russia and Belarus who have not actively supported the war in Ukraine to join the Paris Olympics. That provoked strong objections from Ukraine, which wants those countries banned from most international sports.

READ MORE: Economist's Democracy Index: Greece's ranking climbs, Kikilias attributes success to vaccination program.