The 411 on the Olympic Torch lighting ceremony

Ancient tradition dates back to the Modern Games in 1896, but Athens provides a modern touch every two years

The Hellenic (Greek) Olympic Committee announced details April 5 on their website about the lavish ceremony.  It will take place on April 21 in Olympia, the original Olympics site many centuries ago in front of the Temple of the Goddess Hera. That role will be played this time around by Greek actress Katarina Lehou as she will play High Priestess of the Goddess Hera.  She will use a parabolic mirror to light the Olympic flame directly from the sun’s rays.

For the ladies reading, many of the over dozen priestesses will be wearing costumes designed by London-born Greek-Cypriot designer Eleni Kyriacou, who trained under Alexander McQueen.


Image taken prior to torch being passed to London 2012 courtesy of

From there, the special procession will then move to the ancient stadium as priestesses and male dancers dresses in archaic costumes will perform a choreography inspired by Ancient Greece to the sounds of flutes, lyres, bagpipes and percussive instruments.

Once the elaborate ceremony takes place, the torch will then head on a six-day relay across the majority of Greek territory, including the town of Marathonas and the islands of Zante and Corfu, covering 1,388 miles while also visiting seven archaeological sites.

On April 27, the relay will wind up at at the Panathinaiko Stadium, the venue from the 1896 Athens Olympic Games.  The formal handover to Brazil will take place following the ceremony which will include singing done by popular Greek popstar Sakis Rouvas.

After leaving Greece, the torch will go on display at the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland until May 2.  The very next day, the torch will arrive by plane when it touched down at the capital city of Brasília.

And from that point on, the anticipation will build up with each road passed and city visited for Facebook and Instagram photos for three full months until Friday evening, August 5.

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