Wednesday May 22, 2024

Paris Olympics flame lighting rehearsal held at Ancient Olympia

Published : 15 Apr 2024, 23:36

  DF News Desk
Greek actress Mary Mina (front R), playing the role of the High Priestess, lights the flame during the final dress rehearsal of the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in Ancient Olympia, Greece, on April 15, 2024. Photo: Xinhua by Marios Lolos.

The dress rehearsal of the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame, which will burn for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, was held on Monday at Ancient Olympia in western Greece, the birthplace of the Games, reported Xinhua.

During a traditional ceremony, Greek actress Mary Mina, playing the role of an ancient High Priestess, used the sun's rays to light the torch out of a concave mirror in front of the ruins of the 2,500-year-old temple dedicated to Hera, a goddess in ancient Greek mythology.

Accompanied by dozens of female and male dancers playing the roles of priestesses, goddesses and male youths, she prayed to the Gods to bring peace to the world and help the French city host a 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.

Following a dance performance inspired by ancient Greek mythology inside the ancient stadium which hosted the first Olympics in antiquity, the High Priestess handed over to the first torchbearer the torch with the flame and an olive branch.

Greek athlete Stefanos Ntouskos, gold medalist in rowing in the 2020 Tokyo Games, who was chosen as the first torchbearer, started the rehearsal relay on Monday, after a dancer released a pigeon to spread the Olympic ideals of friendship and peace to the world.

The official lighting ceremony will be held on Tuesday, April 16, launching a torch relay across Greece before the Greek organizers pass the flame to the French delegation in a handover ceremony at the Panathinaic Stadium in Athens on April 26.

"I wish best success to all athletes," Mina told Xinhua.

"We wish for Olympic Truce and the prevalence of peace across the world," Artemis Ignatiou, the choreographer of the lighting and handover ceremonies, said.

The 50-member strong team Ignatiou leads which includes actors, dancers, musicians and support staff have worked for several months preparing for the ceremonies in Greece.

Ignatiou will be in Paris for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games. The Paris Olympics will be held from July 26 to August 11.