Olympic flame is lit; Bach says IOC 'strengthened' by battle against coronavirus

13 March 2020
2020-03-13 14:26

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch was lit by the rays of the sun in ancient Olympia on Thursday to mark the final step towards the July 24-Aug 9 Games, currently in question because of the coronavirus pandemic. Actress Xanthi Georgiou, in the role of high priestess, used a parabolic mirror in a scaled-down ceremony closed to spectators at the site of the ancient Greek Olympics to ignite the torch and mark the start of a torch relay.

The torch will be handed over to Tokyo Games organisers in Athens on March 19. The ceremony was the first since 1984 to be held without watchers on the grassy slopes of the stadium, and only a few dozen accredited officials were allowed to watch the lighting at the nearby Temple of Hera.

-- End --