PARIS 2024 OLYMPICSGreek Actress Mary Mina Ignites the Paris 2024 Olympics Torch in Ancient Olympia

In a spectacle steeped in tradition and ancient mystique, the torch for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was ceremoniously ignited in the hallowed grounds of ancient Olympia on Tuesday. However, the celestial spotlight faced a minor hiccup as cloudy skies prompted a switch from a parabolic mirror to a trusty backup flame.

Greek actress Mary Mina took center stage to ignite the Paris 2024 Olympics torch in the hallowed grounds of ancient Olympia on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. | Credit: Reuters
Playing the role of high priestess, Mina carries the Olympic torch during the ceremony in Greece. | Credit: Reuters

Playing the role of high priestess, Greek actress Mary Mina took center stage to ignite the torch, setting ablaze a journey that will traverse both Greece and France before culminating in the luminous spectacle of the Olympic flame at the Games’ opening ceremony in the City of Light. Paris, no stranger to Olympic grandeur, will play host to the summer games for the third time in its storied history, following its previous stints in 1900 and 1924.

Mina carries the burning flame. | Credit: Reuters

“In these difficult times we are living through, with wars and conflicts on the rise, people are fed up with all the hate, the aggression and negative news they are facing day in and day out,” remarked International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during the ceremony. “We are longing for something which brings us together, something that is unifying, something that gives us hope. The Olympic flame that we are lighting today is the symbol of this hope.”

The flame, a beacon of unity and aspiration, will embark on an odyssey across Greece, officially passing into the hands of Paris Games organizers in Athens’s historic Panathenaic stadium on April 26. From there, it will embark on a maritime voyage aboard the majestic three-masted ship, the ‘Belem’, arriving in the bustling port city of Marseille on May 8.

With Marseille, steeped in ancient Greek heritage and founded by settlers from Phocaea around 600 BC, serving as the backdrop, the torch relay will traverse the length and breadth of France over a spirited 68-day journey, culminating in the grand finale—the lighting of the Olympic flame on July 26 amidst the iconic landmarks of Paris.

The first torchbearer Greek rower Stefanos Ntouskos, lights the touch of the second torchbearer French swimmer Laure Manaudou during the torch relay after the flame lighting ceremony. | Credit: Reuters

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