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Paris 2024 Paralympic torch relay will begin in Buckinghamshire

Stoke Mandeville is the birthplace of the Paralympic movement after Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s idea to help recovering World War II veterans

Lawrence Ostlere
Friday 10 November 2023 13:26 GMT
The Paralympic torch relay will travel from the UK to France via the Channel Tunnel
The Paralympic torch relay will travel from the UK to France via the Channel Tunnel (Getty Images)

The torch relay for next summer’s 2024 Paralympic Games will begin its four-day journey to Paris in a Buckinghamshire village.

Stoke Mandeville, near Aylesbury, is the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, which can trace its roots back to 1948 when a German neurologist working at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Sir Ludwig Guttmann, organised a multi-sport event for World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries.

The London 2012 Paralympic flame also passed through Stoke Mandeville.

Once lit, the flame will be carried to the Channel Tunnel where it will be symbolically passed from British athletes to French athletes, and in Calais the flame will light 12 torches which will travel around France.

Around 1,000 touchbearers will carry the flame over the four-day relay, visiting 50 cities, each covering around 200m.

“For the first time in its history, France will host the Summer Paralympic Games,” said Tony Estanguet, president of Paris 2024. “This unique event will be synonymous, first and foremost, with performance and powerful sporting emotions, with athletes who are as impressive as they are inspiring.

“But beyond that, the Paralympic Games are about more than just sport: thanks to their absolutely extraordinary powers, they will be an opportunity to leave their mark on people’s minds and contribute to a more tolerant and inclusive society.”

The Paralympic Games will begin on 28 August and conclude on 8 September.

For the first time, the Games’ opening ceremony will take place outside the stadium, instead taking place on the streets of the capital from the Champs-Elysees to the Place de la Concorde.

Fans will be able to roam from venue to venue and soak up multiple sports with day passes that are among 2.8 million tickets on sale. Prices for competition tickets range from €15 to €100. Tickets for the opening ceremony start at €150, up to €700.

Passes granting access to multiple venues and sports for one day will cost €24. A total of 20,000 tickets are reserved for people who use wheelchairs.

Paris will host 4,400 athletes for the Paralympics.

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