The Flame Has Been Ignited!

( – The Olympic flame ignited early this Tuesday at the ancient Olympia site and will journey over 3,000 miles to reach Paris this summer.

Originating from Greece, the Olympic flame was lit at the birthplace of the Games in a ceremony steeped in tradition, which started a torch relay that will conclude in Paris on July 26.

In ancient times, the flame was ignited using solar energy and remained alight at the Prytaneum sanctuary in Olympia.

In kееping with the ancient custom, actress Mary Mina, portraying a “high priestess,” invoked the sun God Apollo’s assistancе in igniting the flame at the temple ruins of Hera, Zeus’s wife and queen of the gods.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) affirmed, “The Olympic flame has been a symbol of peace and friendship among nations since antiquity.”

Likewise, IOC President Thomas Bach remarked, “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.”

Originally established in 776 B.C., the ancient Olympic games featured events conducted in the nude and excluded women from participation or attendance.

However, Spartan princess Kyniska found a loophole, claiming victory in chariot races in 396 and 392 B.C. because she owned the winning chariot.

In modern times, the ceremony, which first took its current form in 1936 during the Berlin Games under Adolf Hitler’s regime, includes performances by actors and a dance troupe inspired by ancient traditions.

The priestess entrusted with the flame, The Hestiada, transported it in an urn to the ancient stadium at Olympia, where it is presented to the inaugural torchbearer, Olympic rowing champion Stefanos Ntouskos, alongside an olive branch symbolizing peace.

The flame will be passed to Paris Games organizers in Athens before embarking for France aboard the “Belem,” a three-masted ship that will arrive in Marseille on May 8.

The French leg of the relay, which lasts 68 days, will culminate with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony on July 26.

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