Tokyo Olympic flame begins journey in Greece amid virus precautions

·

The flame for the Tokyo Olympics was lit Thursday at the birthplace of the ancient games in a pared-down ceremony due to the coronavirus.

Standing in front of the ruined Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, a Greek actress playing the part of a pagan priestess used a concave mirror to focus the sun’s rays on a silver torch, causing fire to spurt forth.

After a seven-day relay through Greece, the flame will be delivered to Tokyo organising officials next week at a ceremony in the rebuilt ancient stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.

Hollywood actor Gerard Butler also announced that the coronavirus outbreak will not scare him away as he arrives in Greece to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay. The actor, who portrayed the legendary King Leonidas in ‘300’, will run with the torch from the Byzantine town of Mystras to Sparta.

The ceremonial part of Thursday’s flame-lighting was held with customary mock-archaic splendour: Young men and women dressed in pleated robes, a prayer to Apollo — the ancient Greek god of light — and dancing to flutes and drums under a splendid blue sky as blackbirds sang.

But fears of the coronavirus forced Greek officials to ban members of the public from attending the ceremony and severely curtail the number of invited officials and journalists. Normally, several thousand people from many countries gather on the earthen banks of Olympia’s ancient stadium to watch the ceremony.

Sourced by: Associated Press

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Fresco of Helen of Troy uncovered at Pompeii

Nearly 2,000 years since it was buried by volcanic rubble, the lost city of Pompeii is yielding even more impressive discoveries. According to msn.com, archeologists...

New casual Greek restaurant brings meze and cocktails to Adelaide’s CBD

Andrew Papadakis, the visionary who founded and successfully sold Meze Mazi, returns to the vibrant Adelaide restaurant scene with his newest venture, Dino’s. According to...

Two Greek women included in ’30 Under 30′ Forbes list

In this year's European Forbes "30 Under 30" list, two exceptional Greek women have managed to stand out for their successful paths in two...

2,300-year-old tomb unearthed in Greece

A tomb in the ancient Macedonian city of Aegae in modern Vergina, Greece, has been unearthed according to an All That’s Interesting report. The tomb is believed...

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new movie ‘Kinds of Kindness’ included in Cannes lineup

New films from Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold and Francis Ford Coppola, as well as a portrait of 1980s Donald Trump, will compete for the...

You May Also Like

Chanel Contos receives Young People’s Medal at Human Rights Awards

Chanel Contos has won an Australian human rights award for her work in standing up against abuse culture. The advocate of sexual consent was awarded...

Thessaloniki International Film Festival moves online in response to coronavirus postponement

In a sign of how the global film industry is already adapting to a new reality, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) has moved...

Greece commits to take ‘all steps’ to retrieve refugee girl’s body from Turkish border

Greece will try to retrieve the body of a five-year-old girl who died on a river islet on the Greece-Turkey border where she had...