The Youth Olympic Flame was lit in Athens, Greece, ahead of the flame’s journey to the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will see the flame begin a three-month tour in the Republic of Korea.
The traditional lighting ceremony of the Youth Olympic flame took place in the Panathenaic Stadium of Athens. Jin Jong-oh, co-president of the Gangwon 2024 Organizing Committee, and Spyros Capralos, IOC member and president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, were present.
In accordance with Olympic tradition, the Youth Olympic Flame was lit using the sun’s rays collected in a parabolic mirror.
A priestess from the Temple of Hera then handed the flame to the first torchbearer, Belli Maria, a 17-year-old cross-country skier and biathlete from Florina, Greece. Korean figure skater Kim Hyun-gyeom, 17, and freestyle skier Yun Shin-ee, 16, also took part in the relay, alongside Greek alpine skier Vougioukas Apostolos, 17. The ceremony of the flame was attendend by the ICMG Secretary General Iakovos Filippousis.
The flame’s journey will conclude with the final leg of its journey on January 19, 2024, in the Gangwon 2024 Opening Ceremony. Around 1,900 athletes representing 81 National Olympic Committees are expected at the YOG which ends on February 1, 2024.