True to tradition, the Olympic Flame to look over the 2016 Rio Games from the Maracanã cauldron in Brazil this summer will be lit at a special ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece, on Thursday.
Rehearsals for the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony were held today at the Temple of Hera before the torch begins its journey on April 21 from the home of the Games in Ancient Olympia to Athens’ Panathenian Stadium on April 27 and from there to Brazil, the host of the world’s largest sporting event.
The flame is traditionally lit in Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympics, every four years ahead of the Games by the rays of the sun. Thousands gathered today to see the spectacle featuring actress Katerina Lechou as High Priestess.
Thursday’s event, which will also include a ritual song and dance performance, will take place at noon. The first torch bearer to leave Ancient Olympia and carry the flame to its next stop is world gymnastics champion Lefteris Petrounias. After traveling Greece for a week, the flame will then arrive in Athens and be handed over to the Brazilian organizing committee on April 27, at a special ceremony at the Panathenian Stadium, from where it will travel to Brazil, for the August 5 Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony at the legendary Maracanã Stadium.