Paris 2024 Stretches While Entering In Its Final Lighting Of The Flame In Ancient Olympia

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Greek Actress Mary Mina Lightning Up The Torch
With just over 100 days until the opening of the Paris 2024 Games, the Olympic flame will be lit on Tuesday in ancient Olympia. as a preliminary step to the start of a tour that will take her from the Acropolis to French Polynesia, before arriving in the French capital.
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The presence of some 600 leaders were at the Olympic fire lighting ceremony

For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 (winter) Games to be held without fans, the event will be able to take place without restrictions and with spectators.

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Some 600 leaders attended the Olympic fire lighting ceremony, scheduled for 08:30 GMT on Tuesday. The delegation will be led by the president of the Greek Olympic Committee, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and her counterpart at the IOC, Thomas Bach.

In this ritual, actresses transformed into ancient priestesses will make the Olympic flame come to life with the help of a parabolic mirror – a procedure already known in ancient Greece.

American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will be in charge of singing the Olympic anthem.

Countdown running

The ceremony took place in the ruins of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, and the lighting of the flame starts the countdown to each edition of the Games.

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The weather forecasts announced cloudy skies for Tuesday, although the organizers always carry out a test the day before as a precaution. But even if it rains, everything is planned for the lighting of the flame.

The torch ritual was born in the ancient Olympic Games, in which the fire burned throughout the duration of the event. The tradition returned in the Modern Games, although it was not until the edition held in Berlin in 1936.

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The first reliever will be 2020 Greek Olympic rowing champion Stefanos Douskos.

The former French swimming star Laure Manaudou, Olympic champion in Athens-2004, should be the first reliever of the Paris-2024 delegation in Olympia.

Afterwards, the Olympic fire will begin a long journey until it ends in Paris to announce the start of the Games on July 26.

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During the eleven days that the flame will travel through Greek territory, some 600 relievers will carry the Olympic fire to 41 locations, for a total of 5,000 kilometers.

“We prepared this program for the Tokyo Games, but the pandemic did not allow us to carry it out,” declared the person in charge of the flame at the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Thanassis Vassiliadis, last week to the newspaper Kathimerini.

“Maximum level” of Security

The official also announced a “maximum level” of security during the ceremony, with police officers “discreet, but present everywhere.”

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“No one will be able to access the stands without accreditation,” he said.

In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron launched the countdown to the Games this Monday, reassuring about security around the opening ceremony in the Seine, although outlining for the first time alternative plans in the event of a terrorist threat.

After arriving at the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, site of the first Modern Games in 1896, the fire will be transmitted to the organizers of Paris-2024 in a ceremony in which the legendary Nana Mouskouri, 89, is scheduled to perform on the 26th. of April.

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The next day, the llama will board the Belem sailboat bound for Marseille (southeast France), where it is scheduled to arrive on May 8.

Then, she will begin a long journey that will take her to more than 400 locations and 12,000 km across French territory, both on the European continent and overseas, with the torch passing through the hands of thousands of relievers, until she reaches Paris for the opening ceremony of the Games, which is scheduled in the Seine on July 26.

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