The London 2012 Olympic Flame has been lit in Ancient Olympia, Greece ahead of the start of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on May 18th.
Actors dressed in the robes of the ancient Greeks perform in the ancient Olympic stadium following the lighting ceremony at the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, Greece.
In a traditional ceremony organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), the Flame was lit at the Temple of Hera, next to the historic ruins of the home of the ancient Olympic Games.
The High Priestess used a parabolic mirror to capture the sun’s rays to create the Flame.
It was then carried into the Ancient Olympic Stadium.
Sebastian Coe, chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: “The Olympic Flame lit in Olympia will connect the ancient Games and the modern Games.
“Cities, towns and villages across Greece and Britain will be connected together and to the London 2012 Olympic Games forever.”
First London 2012 Torchbearer
British-born Greek 10km swimming world champion Spyros Gianniotis had the honour of starting the Olympic Flame’s journey across Greece.
He carried the Flame from the Ancient Stadium, via Pierre de Coubertin’s Grove, before handing the Flame on to 19-year-old London Borough of Newham resident Alexandros (Alex) Loukos.
Alex said: “It is an unbelievable honour to be a Torchbearer in the Olympic Torch Relay, especially carrying the Flame in Olympia and representing the city of London.”
Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony
The Olympic Flame will now be taken on an eight-day relay around Greece before arriving at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on the evening of Thursday May 17th for the Handover Ceremony.
It will travel to the UK on 18 May, and start its 70-day journey around the UK the next day.