Anne Kremer, torchbearer and former professional tennis player; Credit: Jazmin Campbell /

On Thursday 27 June 2024, the Olympic flame passed through Luxembourg for the second time in history; the first time was back in 1948.

Members of the public, journalists, schoolchildren and special guests braved the hot afternoon sun to witness this touching and historic moment in Schengen.

The official ceremony took place in Place des Étoiles in front of the European Museum in Schengen, in the presence of Grand Duke Henri, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Prince Louis of Luxembourg. Among the other notable guests was Edmond Schmitt, one of the torchbearers in 1948.

Following a short introduction by the President of the Luxembourg Olympic and Sporting Committee (COSL), André Hoffmann, former Luxembourg professional tennis player Anne Kremer arrived with the Olympic flame around 13:30. The flame had been carried from Apach in France via Perl in Germany before passing into the hands of Anne Kremer on the bridge across the Moselle - a symbolic moment for the retired tennis player who has herself participated in the Olympic Games three times.

In his welcome words (in French), André Hoffmann described Anne Kremer as "a particularly worthy athlete" who had been selected to carry the flame into Luxembourg. Despite a serious accident a few years back, she has "remained loyal" to her sport and serves as a "source of inspiration" for young people.

In his speech (in French), Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, who has long been a member of the International Olympic Committee, said it was an honour to welcome the flame in Schengen. He wished the athletes success and praised the choice of Anne Kremer to carry the flame. "She is an extraordinary person," he said, adding that she was "an example for all". He was referring to both her sporting achievements and her perseverance following her accident. In an emotional moment, his words were met with a round of applause for Anne Kremer.

In his multilingual speech, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Xavier Bettel, said that the Grand Duke had summed up what sport is all about: not giving up. He highlighted the symbolism of the flame passing through Schengen, adding that Luxembourg is a country that "knows what it is to live together" and understands the importance of respect and learning from one another.

Luxembourg's Minister of Sport, Georges Mischo, spoke (in French) about how "sport is a catalyst […] for social cohesion, unity and connections". He noted that the Olympic Games have embodied this spirit since the start. He described the flame as "a symbol of peace, unity and excellence", before providing an overview of Luxembourg's Olympic history. Referring to 1948, he recalled that this was known as the "Relais de la paix" in the post-WW2 context, also noting the current complex geopolitical context. Minister Mischo emphasised the role of sport in bringing people together, inspiring and transforming - beyond "linguistic, cultural and geographic barriers". He added that sport "teaches us discipline, perseverance and fair play".

The French Minister for Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, also spoke (in French) of the symbolism of the torch relay passing through Schengen - symbolic of the "prominent role" played by Luxembourg in European integration and of the strong ties of friendship that unite France and its neighbours. She described the flame as an "extraordinary symbol of excellence, universalism and friendship between people".

The Minister-President of Saarland, Anke Rehlinger, then shared her thoughts (in German) about this historic moment. She said the torch relay symbolised "what borders mean for us" and described the torch as "a symbol of friendship and peace".

Finally, the Mayor of Schengen, Michel Gloden, spoke (in Luxembourgish) about the importance Schengen places on a Europe without borders and the importance of sport, particularly noting the values of fairness and fair play. He thanked everyone involved in organising the torch relay and wished the Luxembourg athletes good luck in Paris this summer.

After its brief stop in Schengen, the flame continued its journey to Metz via Yutz in France on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The 2024 Summer Olympics are taking place in Paris from 26 July to 11 August 2024.