Tennis star Naomi Osaka was the last of 10,000 Torchbearers at the Tokyo 2020 Games ©Getty Images

Organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay are reportedly considering reducing the number of Torches produced for the event, for sustainability reasons. 

They are said to be considering "another model" to allow participants to have a souvenir from the Relay.

"The organisers are planning not to use individual Torches for each of the runners," an unnamed official told Reuters.

"They are planning to produce fewer and the reasons cited are sustainability concerns."

Paris 2024 told insidethegames that work on the Relay is "ongoing", and that no details on Torch numbers can be confirmed.

More than 10,000 people carried the Flame during the Relay to Tokyo 2020 two years ago, despite restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The flame is traditionally lit from the rays of the sun at Ancient Olympia, and is expected to be taken to Athens before a formal handover ceremony to Paris 2024.

It is due to be taken by sea to Marseille in the south of France for the start of the domestic Relay.

Paris 2024 has commissioned Mathieu Lehanneur to design the Torch and cauldron, which he has promised will be "more beautiful, lighter, more lavish". 

The Torches are to be manufactured by Arcelor Mittal.

The usual practice is that participants in the Relay are allowed to keep the Torch they used, after it has been "deactivated".

It is sometimes offered as a gift by sponsors and runners might also be given the opportunity to purchase their Torch, although this might not happen for the Relay to Paris.

"With a view to reducing our environmental impact we are thinking of another model so that everyone can keep a souvenir of this unique moment and share it with their entourage and the greatest number of people," the official said.

It is not unprecedented for the number of Torches to be reduced.

In 1952, only 22 Torches were manufactured for the Relay to Helsinki ©Getty Images
In 1952, only 22 Torches were manufactured for the Relay to Helsinki ©Getty Images

For the Helsinki 1952 Olympics, only 22 were made and these were re-used with detachable fuel cartridges, making them among the rarest items.

The Relay was introduced for the 1936 Games when 3,075 runners carried the Flame in an overland journey from Ancient Olympia to Berlin.

Torches bore an inscription which translated as "with thanks to the bearer".

It was not until the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 that a much longer domestic Torch Relay was planned.

This lasted 84 days and included a "Youth Legacy Kilometer" programme, which enabled some participants to buy a place on the Relay.

The innovation caused anger in Greece and the Flame was flown directly to New York from Olympia without a traditional handover in Athens.

For Beijing 2008, a record 21,800 people participated as the Flame was taken to some 20 other countries and visited previous host cities.

Demonstrations against China's human rights policy in Tibet prompted the International Olympic Committee to insist that all future Relays would be predominantly conducted in the host nation.

Although the city hosted the Olympics in 1900 and 1924, this will be the first time that an Olympic Flame will burn at a Paris Games. 

Flames were taken to Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992 for the Winter Games hosted by France.

More details about the itinerary of the Paris 2024 Torch Relay are expected in May.