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Heading to Paris: Olympic flame was lit in Greece and the relay began

Almost 100 days before the opening of the Paris Games, the relay of the Olympic flame began this Tuesday after its lighting at the Greek archaeological site of Olympia, during a ceremony marked by messages of hope in an international context of tension.

In Olympia, in front of the 2,600-year-old ruins of the temple of Hera, the flame of the Games that will take place in the French capital from July 26 to August 11 came to life this Tuesday.

Due to the cloudy sky over the enclave that hosted the first Olympic Games of Antiquity, the lighting could not be carried out with the sun’s rays as required by classical tradition, but rather using a reserve flame preserved since the general rehearsal on Monday, thanks to the intervention of the ‘priestesses’ dressed in long skirts inspired by classical Greece.

The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the German Thomas Bach, insisted on the message of “hope” conveyed by the Olympic flame, a symbol of peace in ancient times, which was lit in an international climate marked by conflicts in Ukraine and in the Middle East. “We aspire for something that brings us together again, something that brings us together, something that gives us hope,” he said.

“The Olympic flame that we light today symbolizes that hope,” the German also stated in the presence, among others, of the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the French Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games Amélie Oudéa-Castéra and the Mayor of Paris. , Anne Hidalgo.

The president of the organizing committee of the Paris Olympic Games, Tony Estanguet, also sees in these Games “more than ever a force of inspiration (…) for all of us and for future generations.”

The torch was then taken to the old Olympic stadium to be handed over to the first relay, the Greek Stéfanos Duskos, Olympic rowing champion in Tokyo in 2021, who also carried an olive branch.

The swimmer Laure Manaudou, who had won the Olympic title in the 400 m freestyle at the Athens Games in 2004, succeeded him as the first French reliever. The Olympic flame will now begin a vast journey that will take it to Paris on July 26.

Its journey from Olympia to the host city of the Olympic Games is one of the most symbolic events associated with the Games.

THE RELAYS

In Greece, six hundred relievers will pass the flame, which will travel 5,000 kilometers through seven islands, ten archaeological sites and the Acropolis of Athens, where it will spend a night next to the Parthenon.

From the Greek port of Piraeus, the llama will embark on April 26 towards Marseille, in the southeast of France, a city where it will arrive on May 8.

From that date on, the symbol of the Olympic Games will travel throughout France, passing through the Antilles and French Polynesia, until the opening ceremony in Paris as its destination.

In Paris, on the eve of the lighting of the flame, French President Emmanuel Macron launched the countdown to the Games, reassuring about the opening ceremony planned in the Seine, although outlining alternative plans in case of a terrorist threat.

Like every two years (due to the alternation between the Summer and Winter Games) the flame lighting ceremony took place near the stadium where the young athletes of Antiquity competed in the first Games, in the 8th century BC, at a time in which women were prohibited from participating.



Source: Elcomercio

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