Olympic torch for Rio games lit at ancient Greek site

The flame for the Olympic Games in Brazil has been lit in southern Greece, the BBC reports.

It will be taken by various runners on an international torch relay that will culminate at the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August.

The ritual was established eight decades ago for the Berlin Games.

The lighting ceremony took place in Ancient Olympia, where the games took place for more than 1,000 years. A priestess performed it, focusing the sun’s rays on a metal torch.

The flame was kindled on Thursday by Greek actress Katerina Lehou.

The torch will now begin a six-day relay across Greece, passing through the town of Marathon – which which gave its name to the long distance race – as well as a camp for refugees and migrants in Athens, the International Olympic Committee has said.

The flame is due to arrive in Brazil on 3 May for a 100-day relay across the country, travelling through 500 cities and villages in every Brazilian state.

It will be carried by about 12,000 torch bearers.

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