The Olympic torch for the upcoming Rio Games in Brazil has been lit in southern Greece. The flame, which was lit by Greek actor Katerina Lehou at an ancient Greek site, will be carried by various runners on international relay. The relay will culminate on the opening ceremony of the Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on the 5th of August.
In yesterday’s ceremony, the actor, portraying a priestess, offered a mock prayer to the old Greek god. She knelt to the ground and lit the torch by using a concave mirror to catch the sunlight.
The ritual was established 80 years ago for the Berlin Games, based on a ceremony in Ancient Olympia where games were held for more than 1,000 years. The Olympic flame will burn at a permanent home in Rio during the Games, and not in a stadium, as has been traditional. The caldron will be lit at the opening ceremony and, then, travel to a permanent home that is yet to be disclosed.