Paris Olympics 2024: Olympic Flame to be lit at Olympia, Greece

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Olympic Flame

The Olympic flame for the Paris Games 2024 is set to be lit at its birthplace, Olympia, marking a significant moment in the history of the Olympic Games. This event is scheduled to take place nearly 100 days before the opening of the Paris Games.

The ritual will see actresses in the role of ancient priestesses coaxing the Olympic flame into life with the help of a parabolic polished mirror in Olympia, southwestern Greece, where the Games were born in 776 BC. The ceremony is conducted at the ruins of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic imposed toned-down events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games, spectators will be able to attend the torch relay events. Some 600 dignitaries are expected at the ceremony, headed by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

The first relay runner will be Greece’s 2020 Olympics rowing champion Stefanos Douskos. Retired French swimmer Laure Manaudou, who won her first gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, is strongly tipped to be France’s first torchbearer in Olympia.

All you need to know about the Olympic Flame event

During the 11-day relay on Greek soil, some 600 torchbearers will carry the flame over a distance of 5,000 kilometres (3,100 miles) through 41 municipalities. The Olympic flame will be handed over to Paris 2024 organisers in a ceremony at the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium, the site of the first modern Olympic Games of 1896, on April 26.

On April 27, the flame will begin its journey to France on board the 19th-century three-masted barque Belem, which was launched just weeks after the Athens 1896 Games.

This event marks the start of the Flame’s journey from Greece to its final destination in Paris for the opening ceremony on July 26. The lighting of the Olympic flame at Olympia symbolizes the connection between the ancient and modern Games and the enduring spirit of the Olympic movement.

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