Olympic flame lit in Greece in front of limited crowd
March 12 2020 06:26 PM
Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olymp
Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

Dpa/Athens

The Olympic flame for the 2020 Tokyo Games was lit in Greece on Thursday in front of a crowd restricted to 100 because of the coronavirus.

Only 100 accredited guests from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee attended the ceremony, which was televised in Greece, in ancient Olympia.

‘The Olympic Games are a strong picture of the worldwide unity of people,’ said IOC president Thomas Bach.

A parabolic mirror and sunlight helped light the flame in a ceremony which included Greek actress Xanthi Georgiu and shooter Anna Korakaki, who won Olympic gold at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The global coronavirus pandemic has seen the feasibility of the Tokyo Games called into question but both local organizers and the IOC insist they are planning for them to go ahead.

The Olympic flame is due to arrive in Japan on March 20 after a Greek relay leg and a handover ceremony in Athens on March 19.

The torch will be carried around 47 prefectures in Japan in a 121-day relay starting in Fukushima, about 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, before arriving at the July 24 Olympic Games opening ceremony in Tokyo's New National Stadium.




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