Greek actress Mary Mina, in the role of high priestess, lit a flame in front of the ancient temple of the goddess Hera from a backup fire that had been available since Monday’s dress rehearsal. The traditional ignition using the sun’s rays and a parabolic mirror was thwarted by cloudy weather.

Hundreds of guests and spectators watched the ceremony after the previous two occasions, which were held without an audience due to covid measures. They were not missing among them President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach or the head of the organizing committee of the Paris Olympics, Tony Estanguet.

Bach emphasized in his speech that Olympics they are a symbol of peace. “In these difficult times, in which wars and conflicts are on the rise, people are fed up with all the hatred, aggression and negative messages that they are confronted with every day,” Bach said. what gives us hope The Olympic flame that we light today is a symbol of this hope,” he added.

The torch will visit more than 400 cities

Rower Stefanos Duskos became the first member of the relay on Greek territory. The gold medalist from previous games in Tokyo ran with the fire to the nearby monument where Pierre de Coubertin’s heart is buried, then passed the torch to former French swimmer Laura Manaudou, a three-time medalist from the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The Olympic flame will remain in Greece until April 27. He then embarks aboard a three-masted sailing ship from Athens for a Mediterranean cruise to Marseille. The relay with the torch will then cross the French territory for 80 days and will cover approximately 12,000 kilometers on the way to Paris.

The organizers have published the shape of the Olympic and Paralympic medals.

World athletics will reward Olympic winners. Everyone gets over a million crowns

According to the organizers, the torch will visit five French overseas territories and visit more than 400 cities. The relay, which will be carried by over 10,000 runners, will pass through Montpellier, Corsica, Bordeaux and Mont-Saint-Michel in the first part of the route, before heading from Brest by boat to the Caribbean on July 7. The fire will return from the French Antilles to Europe on July 18, and on its way to Paris it will visit, for example, Strasbourg, Reims, Lille or the Palace of Versailles.