In less than 500 days, the 2024 Paris Olympics will open.
To celebrate, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs along with French embassies around the world yesterday invited everyone to take part in a 24-hour international relay celebrating the spirit of sport.
Mr Jacques Pellet, Ambassador of the French Republic, said yesterday the relay passed through all five populated continents and all the world’s 24 time zones.
The event began in New Zealand before crossing Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, and finishing finally in French Polynesia in the Pacific.
The ambassador said that in Cambodia, over 200 international volunteers, athletes and students converged at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh to participate in three running events, which began at 9 am.
“The participants first ran, chasing a ball with their feet, and then in pairs holding hands and finished with a traditional baton relay race,” he said.
This extraordinary global event highlighted the unique power of the Olympic games and the Paralympics to bring people around the world together through the spirit of community and vitality.
Ambassador Pellet said that a total of 128 embassies, consulates and permanent representations of France participated with the slogan, “Land of Games 2024.”
He added each relay team pays tribute to Olympic sports and athletes from each nation.
The ambassador added that the French Embassy in Cambodia wished to make the “relay an opportunity to enhance Franco-Cambodian relations. It encourages young people to get up and run together.”
They put on a great show for the spirit of human solidarity, inclusiveness and peace.
The ambassador noted that the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium is a symbolic location for the enduring friendship between France and Cambodia. The stadium hosted Charles de Gaulle during his visit to the Kingdom in 1966, where he delivered a famous speech calling for peace in Vietnam.
Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron said that the event is a great opportunity to emphasise the humane values that are so important to sport.
He added that he was very pleased to join with the French Embassy yesterday at the Olympic Stadium for the unique event.
“This is an opportunity for me to meet you all together and to honour those who have particularly distinguished themselves, both those who are high-level athletes, professional athletes and also amateur athletes.”
“Each year, we try to inspire the revival of sporting spirit in Cambodia, and we see the Cambodian flag being hoisted more often at international stadiums during recent years,” he said.
Tens of thousands of athletes and volunteers took part in the “Land of Games 2024” relay around the world yesterday.
Demonstration events were planned in around 40 different sports and disciplines – including cricket, taekwondo, stand-up paddling, skateboarding, pétanque, long jumping, discus and javelin throwing, para-athletics, and para-badminton.
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Wire services are provided under license from Newswires (EIN).