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The Olympic flame for the 2020 Tokyo Games was lit in ancient Olympia on Thursday amid an unprecedented health lockdown as Greece registered its first death from coronavirus.
With spectators banned, an actress dressed as an ancient Greek high priestess lit the flame using the rays of the sun reflected off a concave mirror, launching a week-long torch relay in Greece before the flame is handed to Tokyo organisers on March 19.
“Today marks the beginning of the journey of the Olympic flame to Japan,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach. “When the flame returns to Tokyo after 56 years, hope will light the way across the entire country,” he said. The ceremony was attended by the Secretary General of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games Μr. Iakovos Filippousis.
For the first time in history, a woman started the Olympic torch relay. Anna Korakaki, the first of some 600 runners to carry the flame in Greece, is Olympic, European and world shooting champion.