The Olympic flame landed on French soil amid tight security on Wednesday, firing the starting gun on a summer extravaganza of sport that French President Emmanuel Macron hopes will showcase the splendors of France and burnish his legacy.

The flame arrived in Marseille, a port city in southern France founded by Greek merchants, after a 12-day trip from Greece onboard the Belem, a 128-year-old three-masted tall ship that once transported sugar from France's colonies in the West Indies.

The torch was brought onto land by Florent Manaudou, France's 2012 Olympic men's 50-meter freestyle swimming champion, who handed it to Paralympic sprinter Nantenin Keita, a 400-meter gold medalist at the Rio Games in 2016.