Home Headlines The Olympic Flame is in its way to Paris

The Olympic Flame is in its way to Paris

by Yucatan Times
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The Olympic flame sailed from the Greek port of Piraeus for France on Saturday, April 27th, aboard a three-masted ship as it slowly makes its way to the French capital ahead of the Games opening ceremony on July 26.

As is traditional, the flame was lit in ancient Olympia. It was then carried through Greece by relay for 11 days.

It was handed to the Paris Games organizers on Friday in a ceremony at Athens’ Panathenaic stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.

Well-known Greek singer Nana Mouskouri sang the French and Greek anthems at the ceremony.

At another brief ceremony in Piraeus on Saturday, the flame was taken on board the sailing ship Belem to commence its 11-day voyage to the southern French city of Marseille.

The tradition of the Olympic torch goes back to the ancient Olympics, where a sacred flame burned throughout the competition. The tradition was revived in 1936 for the Berlin Games.

Replicas of ancient Greek triremes were present at the departure from Piraeus

Replicas of ancient Greek triremes were present at the departure from Piraeus© Louisa Gouliamaki/REUTERS

What happens now?

After arriving in Marseille on May 8, with 150,000 spectators expected to witness the event, the flame will be carried by a torch bearer to the roof of the Velodrome stadium the following day.

It will then be carried on a 12,000-kilometer (7,500-mile), 68-day journey by 10,000 torchbearers across 64 French territories, including overseas territories in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

This relay will end in Paris on July 26, when the Olympic cauldron will be lit during the Games’ opening ceremony.

As part of that ceremony, 160 boats carrying athletes from around the world will travel 6 kilometers on the Seine River toward the Eiffel Tower.

Some 300,000 spectators are expected to watch from the banks, while millions around the world view the event on television.

TYT Newsroom

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