The Olympic flame for the 2012 London Olympics was lit at Ancient Olympia on Thursday morning. The flame, which went out briefly, was transferred to a torch to begin its relay to London's Olympic Stadium.
The flame was kindled by actress Ino Menegaki, who played the part of a high priestess, using the sun's rays and a parabolic mirror. The BBC reported that actresses dressed as Olympic priestesses danced, while men dressed as heralds put on a show of athletic strength.
The ceremony was conducted amidst the ruins of the Doric Temple of Hera, goddess of Olympus.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge presided over the ceremony. He gave a speech saying “With this ceremony we begin the final countdown to a dream that came to life seven years ago in Singapore, when London was selected to host the 2012 Games.
The energy that passes from the sun to the Olympic flame will light a torch that will travel from this birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games to the country that invented modern sport and the spirit of fair play, heralding the opening of the 2012 London Games on July 27." (Greek Reporter)