Olympic flame lit in Ancient Olympia, kicking off 2024 Paris Summer Games journey

ANCIENT OLYMPIA: The ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris has taken place in Ancient Olympia,...


ANCIENT OLYMPIA: The ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris has taken place in Ancient Olympia, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.

In attendance at the ceremony were Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, President of the Greek National Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos and other officials.

Greek actress Mary Mina, dressed as an ancient Greek High Priestess, lit the flame in front of the Temple of Hera. Due to poor weather conditions this year, the Olympic torch was not lit with the use of a parabolic mirror and sun rays but with a flame that was obtained on Monday during a general rehearsal of the ceremony.

The first leg of the Olympic torch relay was run by Greek Olympic medalist in rowing Stefanos Ntouskos. He then passed the flame to the second torchbearer in the relay, three-time Olympic medalist Laure Manaudou of France.

According to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) statement, "The Olympic flame will now embark upon an 11-day relay throughout Greece that will see more than 550 torchbearers carry the flame, with the final destination being the Panathenaic Stadium for the handover ceremony."

The flame will return to the Greek capital of Athens on April 26, when it will be handed over during a solemn ceremony to the hosts of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

"Following the ceremony, the Olympic flame will spend the night at the French Embassy in Athens before boarding the Belem (a famous three-masted ship that first launched in 1896) the following day to head for Marseille, France, where it will arrive to great fanfare on 8 May."

The ritual of lighting the Olympic flame dates back to the ancient Olympic Games in Greece. It is a reminder of the legend of titan Prometheus, who stole fire from the Gods and gave it to human beings as a gift. The modern tradition was revived in 1928, at the Amsterdam Olympics, when the Olympic flame was for the first time lit at the main stadium. And in 1936, before the Olympic Games in Berlin, a torch relay was held for the first time in modern history.

The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will be hosted by the French capital of Paris between July 26 and August 11.

IOC’s regulations against Russia

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board convened for a meeting at the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 19-20 and following the opening day it decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the Parade of Athletes and also exclude them from the 2024 Olympics overall medal standings.

The IOC, however, ruled that Russian athletes, cleared to participate in the upcoming Olympics, would not have to sign anything denouncing their country’s special military operation in Ukraine.

On October 12, 2023, the IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) until further notice after the Russian organization included the Olympic councils of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as its members.

The Swiss-based CAS registered on November 6, 2023 an appeal from the ROC against the IOC’s decision on the Russian governing Olympic body’s suspension.

The suspension means that the ROC cannot act as a national Olympic committee or receive financing from the Olympic movement. The IOC however reserved the right to clear Russian athletes to take part in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 as neutrals. Later, IOC President Thomas Bach said that Russian athletes should have no affiliation with the ROC if they want to compete at the Olympic Games.


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Local Glob: Olympic flame lit in Ancient Olympia, kicking off 2024 Paris Summer Games journey
Olympic flame lit in Ancient Olympia, kicking off 2024 Paris Summer Games journey
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