May 31, 2024

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Watch – The Olympic flame for Paris 2024 is traditionally lit in Ancient Olympia

Watch – The Olympic flame for Paris 2024 is traditionally lit in Ancient Olympia

On the 101st day of the Paris Games, the Olympic flame was lit in Ancient Olympia in Greece. This is usually done during a traditional ceremony with actors and actresses using the sun and a parabolic mirror. But it was too cloudy, so the priestesses of Hera lit the flame with a spare fire from yesterday's rehearsal.

Olympia is the place where the Olympic Games were held in ancient times. It was Greek actress Mary Mena who played the role of the high priestess and lit the torch in front of the ruins of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera.

The ceremony was attended by a number of notables, including President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

“In these difficult times with so many wars and conflicts, people have had enough of hatred,” Bach said. “We all yearn in our hearts for something that unites us, for something that provides hope, and the torch we are lighting today symbolizes that hope.”

The flame that we light today symbolizes hope in these difficult times with so many wars and conflicts.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

The fire has now begun its journey through Greece and France, and all French overseas territories will also be set on fire. On July 26, the Olympic flame will be lit in Paris.

The first torch runner was the Greek rower Stefanos Netoskos. The 2021 Olympic champion handed the torch to former French swimming champion Laure Manaudou.

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More than 600 bearers will carry the torch over 11 days across Greece to the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, where the first edition of the modern Games was held in 1896.

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The torch will be handed over on Friday, April 26, to the Games organizers in Paris. On board the historic three-masted ship Belém, the flame will travel from Piraeus to Marseille, where the new torch relay across France will begin on May 8.

Former athlete Kim Gephardt will carry the torch for Belgium on May 9. On June 7, the flame arrives in Brest in Brittany. From June 8 to 17, the flame will take to the boat again for a journey through the French colonies of Polynesia, Guyana, Reunion and Martinique.

On June 18, they will dock in Nice and head to Paris, where the Olympic flame will be lit during the opening ceremony on Friday, July 26.