Paris Olympics torch lit at site of ancient games in Greece | World News

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The flame that will burn at the Paris Olympics has been kindled at the site of the ancient games in Greece.

During a ceremony, an actress dressed as an ancient Greek priestess was supposed to use the sun to ignite the silver torch, but cloudy skies meant a backup flame was used to light it instead.

Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the event, during which the priestess offered up a symbolic prayer to Apollo, the ancient Greek sun god.

Priestess during the flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Pic: Reuters
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Performers dressed as priestesses during the lighting ceremony. Pic: Reuters

Greek actress Mary Mina, playing the role of High Priestess, carries the flame during the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Pic: Reuters
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Actress Mary Mina carries the flame. Pic: Reuters

The flame will be carried from the ruined sports grounds of Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the games, by a relay of torchbearers on an 11-day journey of more than 3,100 miles (5,000km) through Greece until it is handed over to the Paris Games organisers in Athens on 26 April.

Performers dance during the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.  
Pic: Reuters
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Performers dance during the ceremony. Pic: Reuters

Performers acting as Priestess during the flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

The torch will then travel from Athens’ port of Piraeus on the French three-masted sailing ship the Belem, which was built in 1896 – the first year of the modern games in Athens.

Spectators before the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Pic: Reuters
Spectators during the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Pic: Ruters
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Spectators gather for the ceremony at Ancient Olympia. Pics: Reuters

It is due to arrive in the southern French port of Marseille – a city founded by Greek colonists some 2,600 years ago – on 8 May, according to Captain Aymeric Gibet.

Ms Mina lights the flame. Pic: Reuters
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Ms Mina lights the flame. Pic: Reuters

Ms Mina passes the flame to the first torchbearer, Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos. Pic: Reuters
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Ms Mina passes the flame to the first torchbearer, Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos. Pic: Reuters

In Paris, the flame will pass the site of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall as well as the Shoah Memorial, mayor Anne Hidalgo said.

The first torchbearer Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos, carries the touch during the start of the torch relay after the flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Pic: Reuters
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Mr Ntouskos runs with the flame. Pic: Reuters

The second torchbearer French swimmer Laure Manaudou, carries an unlit touch before the start of the torch relay after the flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
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French swimmer Laure Manaudou, the second torchbearer. Pic: Reuters


The first torchbearer Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos, lights the touch of the second torchbearer French swimmer Laure Manaudou during the torch relay.
Pic: Reuters
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Mr Ntouskos lights Ms Manaudou’s torch. Pic: Reuters

The Paris city hall, which will host the flame on 14 July when France celebrates Bastille Day, will stay open all night so “visitors and Parisians can see this symbol of fraternal transmission across the planet,” Ms Hidalgo added.

Read original article here.

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