What Are The Criteria for Becoming a Torchbearer?

Criteria for Becoming a Torchbearer
Criteria for Becoming a Torchbearer

As the world gears up for the grand spectacle of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, there’s an element of the tradition that sparks curiosity and excitement well before the opening ceremony: the torch relay. It’s a journey that not only symbolizes the Olympic spirit but also weaves a narrative of inspiration, unity, and anticipation across the globe. But have you ever wondered what it takes to be one of those fortunate individuals, a torchbearer, carrying the flame that ignites the start of the Games? While the essence of the Olympic torch relay remains steeped in history and symbolism, the criteria for selecting its bearers have evolved to reflect contemporary values and aspirations. So, let’s take a stroll through the story of the torch relay and uncover the qualities that make a torchbearer stand out in the eyes of the world.

What is a Torch Relay & Torchbearer?

The Olympic torch relay is a ceremonial procession that marks the beginning of the Olympic Games. It originates in Olympia, Greece, symbolizing the ancient connection to the original games. The torch is lit using the sun’s rays, after which it embarks on a journey that eventually ends at the host city’s Olympic stadium. The final torchbearer has the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron, signifying the official start of the Games.

A torchbearer, therefore, is an individual who carries the Olympic flame during part of its journey. Being a torchbearer is a significant honor and responsibility, representing not just the individual’s achievements or character but also embodying the spirit and ideals of the Olympics themselves.

What are the Criteria for Becoming a Torchbearer?

The selection criteria for a torchbearer for the Paris 2024 Olympics are intriguing and multifaceted, designed to inspire and celebrate the broader impact of the Games. Here’s a detailed look at these criteria:

  1. The Energy of Sport and the Games: The first criterion focuses on the world of sports and the operational side of the Games. This includes athletes (both professional and amateur), volunteers, sports associations, and employees of partner companies. It celebrates the dedication and spirit of those who make the Games a reality, highlighting the essential role of sports in bringing people together and pushing human limits.
  2. The Energy of the Territories: This criterion expands the spotlight to include those who contribute to France’s excellence in various sectors. It’s about acknowledging the contributions that go beyond the sports field, recognizing individuals and organizations across the country that innovate, create, and uphold the standard of French excellence. Whether in arts, sciences, business, or technology, these torchbearers symbolize the pride and achievements of the nation.
  3. The Energy of the Collective: The final criterion places a premium on social impact, selecting torchbearers who are actively working towards a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable society. This is about celebrating the heroes among us who dedicate their lives to making a difference, championing the causes of community building, social justice, environmental stewardship, and more.

Becoming a torchbearer for the Paris 2024 Olympics is about embodying the values and energies that the Games strive to promote. It’s a recognition of individuals’ and groups’ commitment to excellence, community, and the betterment of society at large. But, you might wonder, “How many torchbearers will be selected?” or “Do you have to live in France to become a torchbearer?” These questions highlight the inclusive and global spirit of the torch relay. Furthermore, the logistical aspect of the relay, such as “What happens to the Flame at night?” ensures the flame’s continuous journey embodies the eternal spirit of the games, reflecting the true spirit of the Games and the universal aspirations they represent. Through these criteria, the Olympic torch relay becomes a beacon of hope, inspiration, and unity.

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