HomeNews2024 Paris Olympics Sacred Flame Ignites in Ancient Greece
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2024 Paris Olympics Sacred Flame Ignites in Ancient Greece

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The inaugural lighting of the 2024 Paris Olympics flame took place on Tuesday in Olympia, Greece, the historic birthplace of the ancient Games. This ceremony, echoing the traditions of antiquity, was imbued with messages of optimism amidst the prevailing global challenges. Due to overcast skies, Greek actresses, portraying ancient priestesses, utilized a flame kindled during a rehearsal on Monday within the venerable Temple of Hera, a structure dating back 2,600 years and situated near the original Olympic stadium established in 776 BC. Carrying the flame in a vessel, Greek actress Mary Mina ignited the torch, passed on to the first bearer, Stefanos Ntouskos, the 2020 Olympic rowing champion. Following him, Laure Manaudou, a retired French swimmer and gold medalist from the 2004 Athens Olympics, became the first torchbearer representing France in Olympia.

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Emphasizing the groundbreaking nature of the Paris Games, organizers highlighted their commitment to forging new paths while honoring the legacies of the city’s previous Olympic events. Tony Estanguet, the chief organizer of the Paris Olympics, underscored the historical significance of women’s participation in the 1900 Paris Games and the establishment of the inaugural Olympic Village for the 2024 Paris Olympics event.

Unlike the scaled-back ceremonies of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2024 Paris Olympics ceremony returned in full grandeur, attracting a multitude of spectators. Notable attendees included Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato delivered a stirring rendition of the Olympic anthem, adding to the ceremonial splendor.

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