A “Dry Run” Lighting the Paris Olympics Torch in Ancient Olympia

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Paris Olympics flame lighting rehearsal held at Ancient Olympia

The dress rehearsal of the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame, which will burn for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, was held on Monday at Ancient Olympia in western Greece, the birthplace of the Games, reported Xinhua.

During a traditional ceremony, Greek actress Mary Mina, playing the role of an ancient High Priestess, used the sun's rays to light the torch out of a concave mirror in front of the ruins of the 2,500-year-old temple dedicated to Hera, a goddess in ancient Greek mythology.

Accompanied by dozens of female and male dancers playing the roles of priestesses, goddesses and male youths, she prayed to the Gods to bring peace to the world and help the French city host a successful Games.

"Apollo, God of Sun and the idea of the Light, send your rays and light the sacred torch for the hospitable city of Paris, and you Zeus, give peace to all peoples on earth and wreath the winners of the Sacred Race," she said.

Following a dance performance inspired by ancient Greek mythology inside the ancient stadium which hosted the first Olympics in antiquity, the High Priestess handed over to the first torchbearer the torch with the flame and an olive branch.

Greek athlete Stefanos Ntouskos, gold medalist in rowing in the 2020 Tokyo Games, who was chosen as the first torchbearer, started the rehearsal relay on Monday, after a dancer released a pigeon to spread the Olympic ideals of friendship and peace to the world.

The official lighting ceremony will be held on Tuesday, April 16, launching a torch relay across Greece before the Greek organizers pass the flame to the French delegation in a handover ceremony at the Panathinaic Stadium in Athens on April 26.

"I wish best success to all athletes," Mina told Xinhua.

"We wish for Olympic Truce and the prevalence of peace across the world," Artemis Ignatiou, the choreographer of the lighting and handover ceremonies, said.

The 50-member strong team Ignatiou leads which includes actors, dancers, musicians and support staff have worked for several months preparing for the ceremonies in Greece.

Ignatiou will be in Paris for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games. The Paris Olympics will be held from July 26 to August 11.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

13 Comments
  1. Alexandra Smith says

    As a sports enthusiast, I find the ancient rituals and symbolism of the Olympic flame lighting ceremony truly captivating. It’s amazing to see the beautiful connection between history, tradition, and the spirit of competition. Let the flame of Paris 2024 bring unity and inspiration to the world!

  2. EmilySmith says

    Wow, this article was so fascinating! I wonder how they ensure the torch stays lit during the relay across different terrains and weather conditions?

    1. SamJohnson says

      Hey EmilySmith, glad you enjoyed the article! They use specially designed torches with mechanisms to protect the flame from wind and rain, ensuring it stays lit throughout the relay. It’s a fascinating blend of technology and tradition!

  3. JohnJohnson says

    I think it’s truly mesmerizing to witness the traditions of Ancient Olympia being carried on in such a grand event. The symbolism and reverence for the Olympic flame are something that connects us across time and cultures.

  4. Alexandra123 says

    Wow, the lighting ceremony seems so beautifully symbolic and ancient! But I’m curious, was there any specific reason why Greek actress Mary Mina was chosen to play the High Priestess role?

    1. LeoJohnson93 says

      Yes, the choice of Greek actress Mary Mina as the High Priestess was deliberate. Mary Mina is known for her profound knowledge and deep connection to ancient Greek culture, making her the perfect candidate to bring authenticity and reverence to the role of the High Priestess in the sacred ceremony.

  5. Maria Smith says

    As a fan of both ancient history and the Olympics, I find the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame at Ancient Olympia truly magical. It’s great to see the traditions being carried on and the message of peace and unity being spread through the lighting of the torch. Looking forward to the Paris 2024 Games!

  6. Maggie Thompson says

    As a fan of both history and the Olympics, I find this tradition of lighting the torch in Ancient Olympia truly captivating. The blend of ancient rituals and modern symbolism serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring spirit of the Games. It’s moments like these that make the Olympic movement so special and unique.

  7. MaggieSmith says

    In my opinion, the ceremony at Ancient Olympia perfectly captured the spirit of the Olympic Games, with its rich history and tradition. It’s wonderful to see the blending of ancient rituals with modern practices for such a prestigious event like the Paris Olympics. The symbolism of peace and unity in the prayer to the Gods is truly moving and reflects the essence of the Olympic Games.

  8. EmilyJohnson says

    Who is responsible for making sure the torch stays lit throughout the relay to the Paris Olympics? Will there be any symbolic gestures involved during the actual lighting ceremony?

  9. EmilySmith_88 says

    As a history enthusiast, I find it truly fascinating to see the ancient traditions being revived in such a grand spectacle. The symbolism and rituals of the Olympic flame lighting ceremony never fail to inspire a sense of unity and peace among nations. Let the spirit of the Games shine bright in Paris 2024!

  10. MelissaSmith86 says

    As a fan of the Olympics, I find it fascinating to see the ancient traditions being honored and passed down through the lighting of the torch ceremony. The symbolic gesture of using the sun’s rays and involving various mythological figures truly brings a sense of history and unity to the event. I hope this beautiful tradition continues to inspire peace and harmony in the modern world as it did in ancient times.

  11. JuliaSmith87 says

    As a lover of ancient Greek history, I find this ceremonial event truly captivating. The traditional rituals and the symbolism of the Olympic flame hold a special place in our global heritage. It’s heartwarming to see the torch pass on, carrying the spirit of unity and sportsmanship. Let’s hope for a successful and peaceful Paris 2024 Olympics!

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