OLYMPIA, Greece — The Olympic flame will as soon as once more be lit in an empty stadium on Monday because it begins its truncated journey to Beijing for the Winter Video games in February.
Just like the ceremony in March 2020 to gentle the flame for Tokyo, and like these Video games, which had been put again a yr, Monday’s ceremony is a sufferer of coronavirus restrictions.
“As a result of scenario created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lighting Ceremony will probably be held in strict compliance with native well being protocols,” the Hellenic Olympic Committee introduced in September.
The ceremony is carried out on the ruins of the Temple of Hera in Olympia, website of the traditional Greek video games from eighth century BC to the fourth century AD.
Clear skies are forecast for 11.30 native time (0830 GMT) when the flame is because of be lit by the rays of the solar concentrated in a concave.
Priestess Xanthi Georgiou will gentle the torch from the flames.
Throughout the lighting rehearsal on Sunday, due to the cloudy sky the Priestess had to make use of a hearth lit the earlier days whereas all of the contributors weren’t carrying their historic costumes as a way to defend them in case of rain.
This yr the rehearsal on Sunday fell on the one centesimal anniversary of the creation of the Govt Board of the Worldwide Olympic Committee which is holding ceremonies to rejoice.
Earlier than the pandemic, the flame had been lit behind closed doorways as soon as, in 1984, when Greek organisers wished to protest towards the choice of the Los Angeles organisers to simply accept sponsorship of stretches of the torch relay in the USA.
This time the ceremony will probably be held in entrance of an viewers restricted to the members of the Worldwide Olympic Committee, the Greek and Chinese language Olympic committees in addition to the president of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and vaccinated members of the media.
Greek skier, Ioannis Antoniou, would be the first torchbearer, adopted by Li Jiajun, former Chinese language monitor velocity skater, who received 5 Olympic medals at 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympic Video games.
“It is among the biggest honors for an athlete to be the primary torchbearer for the Olympics, particularly whereas I’m attempting to qualify and take part in these Video games,” Antoniou instructed AFP through the rehearsal.
Greek Vasilis Papavassiliou would be the final torchbearer of the temporary relay in Olympia, as organisers have determined to skip the standard journey around the nation.
“There will probably be no Torch Relay on Greek soil and following the Lighting Ceremony in Historic Olympia the Olympic Flame will probably be transferred to the Acropolis the place it is going to keep in a single day,” they mentioned on October 12.
They mentioned that on the following morning it might be carried to the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, a second-century enviornment utilized in each the 1896 and 2004 Video games, and handed over to the delegation from Beijing 2022 to be flown to China.
Historically, the flame travels lots of of kilometres spherical Greece, visiting fifty cities and archaeological websites, relayed by artists and athletes from world wide.
In March 2020, as coronavirus started to unfold spherical Greece, spectators ignored well being precautions and flocked to the relay.
It was deserted on the second day after leaving Olympia in close by Sparta, the place crowds gathered to cheer Greek-American actor Billy Zane, greatest identified for “Titanic”, and British actor Gerard Butler, who performed King Leonidas of Sparta within the film “300”.
On Monday, the flame will keep in a single day in Acropolis, the place on Sunday Tibet activists staged a quick protest on the Acropolis in Athens calling for the boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as a condemnation of “China’s genocidal regime”. Greek police made three arrests.
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