London 2012 Olympic Flame Lit
The flame for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games was lit Thursday in a ceremony at the birthplace of the Ancient Olympics - the start of a torch relay that will end with the Opening Ceremony of the London Games on July 27.
Actress Ino Menegaki, dressed as a high priestess, stood before the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, and after an invocation to Apollo, the ancient Greeks' Sun God, used a concave mirror to focus the sun's rays and light a torch.
Following the ceremony, the priestess handed the flame to the first torchbearer, Greek swimmer and Olympic silver medallist Spyros Gianniotis.
Gianniotis is the first of 490 torchbearers to carry the flame across 2,900 kilometres on Greek soil before the flame is handed over to London 2012 organizers on May 17 in Athens.
The flame will then travel to Britain for a 70-day torch relay covering another 12,800 kilometres across the U.K. It will leave the U.K. only once to pass through Ireland on June 6. The Olympics run from July 27 to August 12.
Attending the ceremony was International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge who said, "with this ceremony, we begin the final countdown to a dream that came to life seven years ago in Singapore". He was referring to where London defeated Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow in 2005 in its bid to host the Games.
Rogge added,"London is ready to welcome the world for the third time". London hosted the Olympics in 1908.Write or read comments about this article
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