Greece continues its ancient Olympics role even though the games will be in China. Today the Olympic Flame departed Ancient Olympia on a Torch Relay to Beijing, host of the XXIX Olympic Games.
The internationally televised lighting ceremony starred Maria Nafpliotou as the High Priestess and was choreographed by Artemis Ignatiou.
The first Torch-bearer was Greece's Olympic silver medalist in TaeKwon Do (2004 Athens Games) Alexandros Nikolaidis, who relayed the Torch to China's Luo Xuejuan, an Olympic gold medalist in the 100m breast stroke event. There will follow a seven day Torch relay within Greece that will be completed on March 30 when the Olympic Torch arrives at the Panathenian Stadium in central Athens. There it will be handed over to the Chinese Olympic officials for a twenty nation tour before arriving in China.
The ceremony was to involve a hyperbolic mirror in order to use sunlight (The sun god, Apollo.) to ignite the torch. A back-up match was available in case the sun did not cooperate. Interesting that they had neither one about 1,000 B.C. when the Olympics originated.
Above photo and facts from ANA.
This photo is from 2004 on Paros. I was a few feet from the passing Olympic Torch but there were multitudes of people in front of me so my photo is of the hats of the rear guard.
- At April 02, 2008 5:36 AM Susan said...
I just happened upon your blog tonight. We are from Vancouver, Wa, just across the river from Portland. I saw your son lives there.
My husband is from Ios. We are going in May for only two weeks. It will be a very busy trip!
I will enjoy reading your blog. We have been to Paros.
The ferry always stops there...but once we were going to Samos and stayed a full day on Paros. We took a local bus around the whole island. We enjoyed it very much!