The Olympic flame that will burn in the stadium during the London 2012 games has been lit among the historic ruins at the home of the ancient games in Greece.
In traditional ceremonial rites, the flame was lit by using the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in ancient Olympia, the London organizing committee (Locog) said in an e-mailed statement.
“This is the second time representatives of the U.K. have gathered here to celebrate the lighting of the Olympic flame,” said Locog Chairman Sebastian Coe. He was present at the ceremony alongside International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and Spyros Capralos, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.
“In 1948, shortly after the Second World War, my predecessor stood where I am today and made the first tentative steps in turning the world from war to sport,” Coe said. “We find ourselves in challenging times again and turn to sport once more to connect the world in a global celebration of achievement and inspiration.”
The flame will first travel through Greece before being flown to the U.K., where it will arrive at the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall on May 18. London last hosted the games in 1948.
A torch relay will start on May 19 at Land’s End, Cornwall, taking the Olympic flame on a 70-day, 8,000-mile journey crisscrossing the U.K. so that it will be within 10 miles of 95 percent of the population, organizers say. It will be carried by 8,000 torchbearers before it reaches the Olympic Stadium on the evening of July 27 for the opening ceremony.