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IOC Officials Call for World Peace as Paris 2024 Olympic Flame is Lit in Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia: The timeless tradition of igniting the Olympic Flame came to life once again as the torch for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was lit amidst calls for world peace and unity during a solemn ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece.

In a spectacle steeped in history and symbolism, actress Mary Mina, embodying the role of an ancient Greek High Priestess, kindled the torch before the 2,500-year-old Temple of Hera, invoking the blessings of the Gods for peace and prosperity. Due to overcast skies, a backup flame was used instead of a concave mirror to light the torch, preserving the sanctity of the ritual.

“Apollo, God of Sun and the idea of the Light, send your rays and light the sacred torch for the hospitable city of Paris, and you Zeus, give peace to all peoples on earth and wreath the winners of the Sacred Race,” prayed Mina, echoing the sentiments of unity and harmony that define the Olympic spirit.

Amidst the ancient ruins, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and other high officials emphasized the enduring message of peace that the Olympic Games represent. Bach reflected on the historic role of the Games in bringing nations together, stressing the importance of peaceful competition in today’s world.

“We are urging all nations to implement a truce,” declared Spyros Capralos, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and an IOC member, echoing the call for a cessation of hostilities during the Olympic period.

Mayor of Ancient Olympia Aristidis Panagiotopoulos echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the authentic message of world peace that emanates from the Olympic Flame. The Olympic Truce, a tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, serves as a reminder of the enduring values of solidarity and cooperation.

The lighting ceremony marked the beginning of the torch relay journey, with Greek rowing gold medalist Stefanos Ntouskos receiving the torch from the High Priestess. In a symbolic gesture of peace, a white pigeon was released, carrying the Olympic ideals of friendship and harmony to the world.

“The Olympic Flame disseminates the eternal values of peace and solidarity,” remarked Tony Estanguet, president of the Organizing Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, underscoring the universal significance of the Olympic movement.

As the flame embarks on its journey, it carries with it the hopes and aspirations of nations, symbolizing the power of sport to inspire, unite, and foster a brighter future for all.

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