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Paris Olympics 2024 Flame lighting ceremony started in the birthplace of the ancient Olympics

The first Olympic torch relay took place in 1936 when 3,000 bearers carried it from Olympia to Berlin with the costumes and torch designs capturing the minds of creatives.

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Payal Debnath
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Paris Olympics 2024 Flame lighting ceremony started in the birthplace of the ancient Olympics

The Paris Olympics 2024 Flame lighting ceremony has been started. Image- CNN

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The Paris Olympics 2024 Flame lighting ceremony has been started on Tuesday, 16th April on the ancient site of Olympia. Around 600 torchbearers will now carry the Olympic flame on a 5,000 kilometre odyssey around Greece, before reaching the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, the site of the first modern Olympics in 1896, on the 26th April.

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Greek Olympic rowing champion Stefanos Ntouskos is the first torchbearer in the relay that will travel from Olympia to Paris. The flame will then sail from Paris to Marseille on the 120-year-old, three-masted Belem, which is a listed historical vessel that began life as a cargo ship transporting sugar from the West Indies. After that, it will arrive in France on May 8, just two and a half months before the start of the Paris Olympics 2024, where the next leg of the relay will begin. 

The first Olympic torch relay took place in 1936 when 3,000 bearers carried it from Olympia to Berlin with the costumes and torch designs capturing the minds of creatives. In Ancient Olympia, home of the ancient Olympics for more than 1,000 years, a flame was thought to burn perpetually on a shrine, symbolizing the eternal spirit of the Games.

At the ancient temple of Hera, 30 ancient priestesses (actresses dressed as ancient priestesses) performed a series of rituals calling upon the god of light, Apollo to ignite the Olympic flame using the sun's rays and a parabolic mirror. The fire, which burns throughout the duration of the Olympic Games, symbolizes purity and represents the values ​​of the Olympics among nations. 

The symbolic lights will pass through more than 30 towns and cities across the country before landing on Athens approximately ten days later. There it will be handed over to the host city Paris in a ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium and then depart for France on 27 April 2024. 

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The flame will also light the Paralympic Games, which take place August 28 to September 8, where 1,000 torchbearers will help relay the torch across 50 French towns and cities. 

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