WATCH: The Lighting of the Olympic Flame in Ancient Olympia

On Thursday, at mid-day in Olympia, Greece, the ancient home to the original Olympic Games some 3000 years ago, the Olympic torch was officially lit in the traditional way, by the sun in the Temple of Hera.

See the full description of the ceremony here.

The torch was then handed off by the ceremonial lighter to Greek gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias, a World Champion on the rings, before going to its first Brazilian athlete, double Olympic volleyball champion Giovane Gávio. The torch will now spend the next 6 days traveling around Geece before arriving at the Panathinako Stadium in Athens on April 27th where it will be formally handed over to the Brazilians. Brazil will take it on a stop to Switzerland, where it will spend time burning in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, and then on to Brazil for a 90-day relay.

Among those who will carry it in Greece will be a Syrian refugee who is living in Greece, as a representation of all refugees around the world, hoping it to be borne as a symbol of peace.

Above, watch a cut video of the lighting ceremony courtesy of the Associated Press. Below is the full 90 minute ceremony, via the IOC.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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