Laure Manaudou is First French Athlete in 2024 Olympic Torch Marathon

laure manaudou
Photo Courtesy: A. Masini/

Laure Manaudou is First French Athlete in 2024 Olympic Torch Marathon

French swimmer Laure Manaudou was the first representative of France to receive the Olympic torch in the relay from Greece to Paris that began Tuesday.

The flame was lit in Ancient Olympia Tuesday morning at a ceremony overseen by the Hellenic Olympic Committee and with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach present. The flame will be carried over 5,000 kilometers through Greece to hand it over to the Paris Games organizers on April 26 in Athens. They will take the flame from the port of Piraeus to Marseille on the Belem, a three-masted sailing ship that was built in the year of the first modern Olympics, 1896.


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The first recipient of the flame was Stefanos Douskos, a Greek rower who won a gold medal in the single sculls at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. He handed off to Manaudou, a native of Villeurbanne, France. Manaudou relayed the flame to European Union official Margaritis Schinas of Greece.

Manaudou is one of four French captains of the torch relay, along with her brother Florent Manaudou, Paralympic triathlete Mona Francis and Paralympics long jumper Dimitri Pavade.

Laure Manaudou, 37, had her best international meet in Greece, winning gold in the women’s 400 freestyle in the 2004 Athens Olympics. She also won silver in the 800 free and bronze in the 100 back at those games, in a career that included 18 European Championships and three World Championships, in 2005 and 2007. Manaudou was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2017.

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