Sports diplomacy – 3rd “Relay Around the World” (14 March 2024)


Following the success of the event in 2022 and 2023, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Organizing Committee of the 2024 Paris Games organized a third “Relay Around the World” on Thursday, 14 March.

Thanks to the great efforts of the French diplomatic network, the Relay Around the World has become a key aspect of the “Terre de Jeux 2024” international programme. This event aimed to connect our embassies participating in the “Terre de Jeux 2024” initiative via a virtual relay between the posts. Each embassy or consulate was responsible for organizing an event including an hour of sporting activities from 09:00 to 10:00 (local time) before handing over to a post in the next time zone, so that the relay lasted 24 hours, from New Zealand to Los Angeles and Tahiti.

Again this year, the Relay showcased the global activities of France’s almost 140 embassies and its overseas territories (New Caledonia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Réunion and French Polynesia). This unprecedented level of participation is emblematic of our collective ability to mobilize our staff, our expatriate communities, our network abroad and local sporting ecosystems thanks to the momentum generated by the 2024 Paris Games. In doing so, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is contributing fully to the efforts to make the 2024 Paris Games open to the widest audience possible, including beyond our borders.

More than 80% of the French diplomatic network took part in the 2024 Relay, involving 18,000 participants and 176 high-level athletes across the whole world.

For this last Relay before the Games, many posts decided to showcase Paris 2024 programmes bearing the “Terre de Jeux” label, such as Sport et Parité, which aims to rename facilities with the names of sportswomen to promote the place of women in sport. On this occasion, the embassies in the Republic of Korea, Panama, Fiji and Greece decided to (re)name rooms, gymnasiums or swimming pools and showcase our sportswomen to inspire new generations. Many projects also focused on disabilities and sport for all.

In Paris, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Séjourné, symbolically took the relay baton from our embassy in Moldova. For the mainland France stage of the Relay, the staff of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs took part in several activities: running, via the future Olympic sites in central Paris (Invalides, Grand Palais, Place de la Concorde, Grand Palais Éphémère, Trocadéro, etc.), and Nantes for some staff, as well as a cycling event between the Châtillon and Convention sites and an introduction to and through table tennis by the French Table Tennis Federation at Convention. Phryges looked on at every stage as Olympic and Paralympic flags flew proudly above. In the presence of the Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, the participants in the Parisian stage of the Ministry Relay handed over to the Embassy of France in Togo.

Image Diaporama - Diplomatie sportive - 3e édition du « Relais (...)
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In 2023, the Relay involved 128 embassies, consulates general and overseas territories, and a total of more than 16,000 participants.