Greece: The Olympic Flame begins its journey towards Paris

Greece: The Olympic Flame begins its journey towards Paris

ATHENS, April 17 (NNN-TELESUR) — The Olympic Flame, that will be burning for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, on Tuesday started its journey after being ignited at the birthplace of the Games in Ancient Olympia.

Actress Mary Mina, in the role of an ancient Greek High Priestess, lit the torch at 12.16 p.m. before the 2,500-year-old Temple of Hera, a goddess in ancient Greek mythology. She prayed to the Gods to bring peace to the world and help the French city host successful Games.

“Apollo, God of Sun and the idea of the Light, send your rays and light the sacred torch for the hospitable city of Paris, and you Zeus, give peace to all peoples on earth and wreath the winners of the Sacred Race,” she said.

In ancient times, the Olympic Games brought together the Greek city states, even – and in particular – during times of wars and conflict. Today, the Olympic Games are the only event that brings the entire world together in peaceful competition.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach called for world peace during the flame lighting ceremony. Spyros Capralos, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, also sent a strong anti-war message in his speech.

“Then as now, the Olympic athletes send this powerful message: yes, it is possible to compete fiercely against each other and at the same time live peacefully together under one roof,” Bach said prior to the ritual of the lighting of the flame.

The Olympic Truce is a tradition originating from Ancient Greece that dates back to 776 BC. A “truce” was announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure the host city state (Elis) was not attacked and athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and peacefully return to their respective countries.

In 1992, the IOC renewed this tradition by calling upon all nations to observe the Truce during the modern Games. The Truce was revived by United Nations Resolution 48/11 of 25 October 1993, as well by the United Nations Millennium Declaration relating to the world peace and security.

“The Olympic Flame disseminates the eternal values of peace and solidarity,” Tony Estanguet, president of the Organizing Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said delivering an address.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, the High Priestess lit the first Olympic torch of the Games and passed it, along with an olive branch, to the first torchbearer, Greek rowing gold medalist Stefanos Ntouskos. In parallel a dancer released a white pigeon to spread the Olympic ideals of friendship and peace to the world as the flame’s journey started.

— NNN-TELESUR

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