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23 May, 2024
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Olympic flame lit in Ancient Olympia, embarks on journey to Paris

Tradition meets spectacle as torch is lit for 33rd Olympic Games amidst cloudy skies


The Olympic Flame embarked on its journey from Ancient Olympia, marking the Lighting Ceremony for the 33rd Olympic Games 2024, set to be hosted in Paris from July 26 to August 11.

Hosted by Nikos Aliagas and steeped in antiquity-inspired rituals, the ceremony unfolded in the presence of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. It brought back the crowd-filled spectacle absent from recent events like the Tokyo 2021 and Beijing 2022 Olympics due to pandemic restrictions.

At around 12:15 yesterday, the Flame wasn't ignited by the sun as usual due to cloudy weather. Instead, a reserve flame from the dress rehearsal lit the torch, commencing its journey from the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games.

Amidst the ruins of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, Greek actress Mary Minas ignited the torch before 600 guests and thousands of spectators.Η Ολυμπιακή Φλόγα ξεκινάει το ταξίδι της μετά την Τελετή Αφής (εικόνες – βίντεο)-2REUTERS/Louisa Gouliamaki

Before the lighting, top mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato performed the Olympic Anthem, followed by flag-raising ceremonies and greetings from dignitaries including IOC President Thomas Bach and EOC President Spyros Capralos.

The event continued with performances, including the Dance of the Fairies and the 15 Kouros chorus before Olympic Gold Medalist Stefanos Dusko received the flame from High Priestess Mary Mina.Η Ολυμπιακή Φλόγα ξεκινάει το ταξίδι της μετά την Τελετή Αφής (εικόνες – βίντεο)-3

Notable attendees included Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Organizing Committee President Tony Estanguet, and IOC President Thomas Bach, among others.Η Ολυμπιακή Φλόγα ξεκινάει το ταξίδι της μετά την Τελετή Αφής (εικόνες – βίντεο)-1REUTERS/Louisa Gouliamaki

Watch the ceremony below:

[With information from and Reuters]

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  France  |  Olympics

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