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When Monaco Hearts Lit Up : The Olympic Flame’s Grand Tour!

On June 18, the heart of Monaco beat a little faster. Life came to a standstill as the Olympic flame made its way through the Principality, a historic event that saw six torchbearers pass the flame from Port Hercule to Place du Palais. The relay culminated with Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene carrying the flame to its final destination.

The press is alive with emotional outpourings from Prince Albert, Princess Charlene and the torchbearers which HelloMonaco has garnered for you.

“It’s always the same emotion,” said Prince Albert II. “This is the 11th time I’ve carried the flame, for both the Winter and Summer Games, but it’s always the same excitement. It was extraordinary! A magical moment, with all the significance that this flame and this relay have.”

For many, this event was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The last time the Olympic torch passed through Monaco was in 1968 before the Grenoble Games. This year, the atmosphere was electric as thousands of spectators lined the streets to witness the torch’s journey.

Charles Leclerc, the celebrated Formula 1 driver, had the honour of being the first torchbearer. “I wasn’t expecting such fervour in Monaco, but I think Charles Leclerc has brought us a bit of a crowd,” said Rudy Rinaldi, reflecting the excitement that had gripped the city.

The relay was a showcase of Monaco’s diverse athletic talent. Alexandra Coletti, a distinguished skier, carried the torch up the Rampe Major. “It was truly magical from start to finish,” she said. “With all the children screaming, it was a very emotional and proud moment.”

Xiaoxin Yang, a prominent table tennis player who has already qualified for the Paris Games, was another torchbearer. “It was an incredible moment,” she said. “I was very moved and nearly cried.”

A Royal Grand Finale

The grand finale at Place du Palais was a sight to behold. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, accompanied by their children, brought the flame to its final stop. “It’s really very moving,” said Prince Albert. “I knew there was going to be a lot of emotion and a huge turnout, but to see so many young people in the Place du Palais and all along the route is extraordinary.”

Princess Charlene, a former Olympic swimmer, shared her sentiments: “It was a great honour and it brought up a lot of emotion from my days of competing and representing my country. It was wonderful that my family and the country come together to witness this moment. It was wonderful for my children as well.”

The torch relay not only celebrated Monaco’s rich sporting heritage but also fostered a sense of unity and pride among its citizens. As the Olympic flame continues its journey, Monaco stands proud, ready to support and celebrate the global sporting community in the forthcoming Olympic Games.

“I hope that this torch will inspire them and lead them to the best results,” said Prince Albert II. “I’ll be there to support and encourage them. I want them to take part in the best possible way, to enjoy themselves and have fun.”

Reflecting on the day, Rudy Rinaldi offered some advice to the athletes: “I often say to dare to dream big, bigger than our country, because we tend to restrict our ability to dream. But nothing is impossible, and I think that if you set your sights high, you can go far. I wish them all the best in letting go and enjoying the moment.”

The Olympic flame’s visit to Monaco was more than a mere spectacle; it was a symbol of hope, unity, and the enduring spirit of Olympism. The Olympic torch had previously journeyed through Alpes-Maritimes. Starting in Villefranche-sur-Mer with Alice Modolo’s symbolic retrieval from the sea, the torch moved through Grasse, and arrived at Cannes’ Palais des Festivals et des Congres.

Continuing its route, the torch visited Valberg and then to Monaco to honour HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Charlene’s Olympic dedication.

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