Loire and Saint-Etienne move to the pulse of the Olympic torch!

A lark between Roanne and Saint-Étienne

The Olympic torch set off this morning to discover the undulating corner of the world that exerts a magnetic pull on athletes year-round. Skiers flock to the department in winter, while cyclists take to its roads once the temperature starts to rise. Food spoils in the Loire, with a wide variety of flavors from characterful cheeses to the famous Dougaldi dry sausage.

The Olympic torch visited landmarks such as the city’s historic squares – Place des Promenades Populle and Place Louis Flandre – before making its way to the banks of the Loire. It shines a light on many of the department’s iconic sites, including the Benedictine Charleu Abbey, the Chapel of St. Eugenia, and the Jardin d’Allard in Montprison, not to mention the racecourse at Fures, known and loved by horse racing enthusiasts.

In Saint-Chamond, known for its medieval remains, the Olympic torch passed the modern Arena Saint-Étienne Métropole, the Théâtre de Verdure and the Place de la Liberté. In Firminy, Le Corbusier and the Unit d’Habitation of the Château des Bruneaux are must-sees.

It’s time to head to Saint-Étienne, the terminus of the stage. The Olympic torch passed through the Cour Fauriel, past the Museum of Arts and Industry and the Mining Museum and took a breather at the Cité du Design to highlight Saint-Étienne’s role within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The last few sections took place at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium, a football temple that has made Les Verts fans dream for generations.

Over 150 torches all over the stage

The last relay runner of the day returned to his old hunting grounds. Jean-Michel Lark, a towering figure from Saint-Étienne’s golden age lit the cauldron in front of an adoring crowd in a moment full of emotion and symbolism. Les Verts’ iconic midfielder from 1966 to 1977 and part of the team that propelled the club to the European Cup final in 1976, he was also a key player for the French national team. During his career, he was also part of the Les Bleus team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1968 Olympic Games.

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Among the more than 150 torch bearers were many athletes Melina Robert-Michen, the Olympic silver medalist in the discus, the French record holder and is set to compete in the new edition of the Games in Paris. was also Matteo RupertiFrench Paratriathlon Champion; Coraline JuananSilver medalist in the team event at the French Equestrian Championships; Corinne Spoon, Senior World Judo Champion; And Amber DussatierHe shone in swimming at the World Paralympic Games.

Sports enthusiasts like Aurélie Lefebvrea diehard paraglider; Max Bouchet-Virette, who has worked for many sporting events including the Albertville Games and several football and rugby World Cups; And 73 years old Yves LavalA unique character who entered 275 triathlons and duathlons throughout his life and won the French championship three times, but still continues the sport!

A few torchbearers, regardless of their age and preferences, were very inspiring with individual backgrounds. An 11-year-old boy lit the Olympic torch Isaac DeGereroKivors was elected to the Youth Municipal Council; Mourad AbdellaouiWorking tirelessly to drive Prader-Willi syndrome research forward; And Melanie WolleAt the age of 102, the oldest torchbearer of the stage, every man and woman should be admired for his fight against Astrofascism and his role in the French Resistance.

An attention-grabbing game

Another torch relay stage, another team relay. The French Adapted Sports Federation (FFSA), which works to promote and facilitate physical activity and sport among people with physical or mental disabilities, organized today’s installment in Roanne. Countless such sporting events have been organized since 1983 with the support of FFSA. Each of the 24 relay runners demonstrates a discipline. For example, relay captain, Nicholas Virabin, a Paralympic athlete who won four gold medals at the 2019 Global Games (a competition for people with mental disabilities). He was accompanied by a dancer, a swimmer and a pétanque player Sophie KirkStar swimmer and cross-country skier Clement Colombi And Thomas BayMedalist at the French Para-Skiing Championships.

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A special stage awaits tomorrow. A historic day will be full of landmarks as the Olympic torch passes through Haute-Savoie. It will mark the centenary of the first Winter Olympic Games since 1924 and will be an opportunity to celebrate Olympic Day with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in 33 days. Many champions will rise to the occasion, including many athletes who flew the flag for France at the Winter Games. Sunday can’t come soon enough!

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