The42 uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 3 °C Monday 18 December, 2017

Olympic flame lighting rehearsal goes off 'without a hitch' in Greece

The flame – which will visit Dublin next month – will be lit in a ceremony tomorrow.

The 'high priestess' carries the Olympic flame she has just lit using a concave mirror to concentrate the sun's rays.
The 'high priestess' carries the Olympic flame she has just lit using a concave mirror to concentrate the sun's rays.
Image: (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

THE FINAL REHEARSAL for the lighting of the flame that will burn at the London Olympics went off without a hitch under sunny skies in the birthplace of the Ancient Games today.

Standing in front of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, an actress dressed as a high priestess used a concave mirror to focus the sun’s rays and light a torch.

That flame will serve as a backup in the unlikely event that clouds block the sun at Thursday’s official lighting ceremony. This has happened only once in recent memory for the Summer Olympics — in 2000, ahead of the late-season Sydney Games — but clouds have disrupted three of the previous four Winter Games ceremonies.

After an 1,800-mile journey through Greece using 490 torchbearers, the flame will be handed to London organizers on 17 May in Athens’ Panathenian Stadium, where the first modern games were staged in 1896. In contrast to the two previous Summer Games, where the Olympic flame relay went around the globe, it will leave Britain and Northern Ireland only once, to pass though Dublin on 6 June.

The Olympic Council of Ireland today revealed the torch-bearers and route in the Irish capital.

The rehearsal in Greece went on without almost any VIPs and in front of hundreds of visitors to the archaeological site, access to which will be restricted under tight security in Thursday’s official ceremony.

In a choreographed departure from previous ceremonies, a chorus of 13 young men struck poses from Olympic sports and performed their own ritual dance in tandem with the 17 priestesses.

The first two torchbearers were both born in England, the sons of Greek fathers and British mothers. Spyros Gianniotis, a 32-year-old Liverpool-born swimmer, who won a silver medal for Greece in the five-kilometre open water event four years ago in Beijing and who will take part in his fourth Games, will hand over to Alex Loukos, a 19-year-old born and raised in the east London borough of Newham, where the Olympic Park is located.

(Pictures: AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

Trailblazing: route of Olympic torch relay in Dublin revealed

Brogan, Delany, Treacy to carry Olympic torch

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

Leave a commentcancel