All set for Paris 2024 Games torch ceremony after sunny dress rehearsal

By Reuters
April 16, 2024
A woman in the role of a priestess holds the Olympic flame after lighting it during the rehearsal of the flame lighting ceremony for the Paris 2024 Olympics Games on April 15, 2024. — AFP

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece: The torch for the Paris 2024 Olympics was lit by the sun’s rays in a dress rehearsal in ancient Olympia on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s official ceremony that will mark the final stretch to the Games in France.


A Greek actress playing the high priestess used a parabolic mirror and the sun’s rays to ignite the torch in the final rehearsal before Tuesday’s traditional ceremony at the birthplace of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece.

The ceremony marks the start of a torch relay in Greece and France that will end in Paris for the start of the Games on July 26. On Tuesday the flame will be lit in front of Greece’s president of the republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) leadership and is unlikely to encounter any weather issues with warm temperatures and largely sunny skies.

In case of clouds that do not allow the use of the mirror to light the torch, the flame lit during the dress rehearsal is used as a backup. After lighting the torch on Tuesday actress Mary Mina will then pass the flame to the first torchbearer, Olympic rowing champion Stefanos Ntouskos, at the edge of the ancient Olympic stadium for the start of an 11-day Greek relay.

The flame will then be handed over to Paris Games organisers in Athens on April 26 before spending a night at the French Embassy in the Greek capital and then departing the next day for France on board a three-masted ship, the ‘Belem’.