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Greece Gears Up for Revamped Olympic Flame-Lighting Ceremony

Olympic Flame Greece
The redesigned costumes for the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony. Credit: Hellenic Olympic Committee

The Olympic flame-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia next month, starting the Olympic Torch Relay that will usher in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, is to feature several changes, including a new High Priestess, redesigned costumes and a new composer.

The changes were showcased at a grand event held at the Hellenic Olympic Committee on Tuesday, where the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) presented High Priestess Mary Mina and new ceremonies’ composer Dimitris Papadimitriou, as well as the new black-and-white robes that will be worn by the priestesses in the revamped ceremony.

In addition, six male and female athletes modeled the new Team Greece outfits prepared by the company 4F for the Paris Games.

HOC President Spyros Capralos kicked off the evening by thanking the sponsors for their support, which had allowed Greece to assist more than 200 athletes in preparing for the Olympics.

The president of the HOC Olympic Torch Relay Committee Thanassis Vassiliadis then presented the ceremony’s new High priestess, award-winning actress Mary Mina, and internationally acclaimed composer Dimitris Papadimitriou, while announcing the rest of the team involved in the ceremony, including presenter Nikos Aliagas, soprano Joyce DiDonato, choreographer Artemis Ignatiou, soprano Myrsini Margariti, tenor Babis Velissarios, artistic director Fokas Evaggelinos, the ERT musical ensembles and choir, children’s choirs, the women’s choir Chores and WolvesTeam.

The HOC also paid homage to the previous High Priestess, Xanthi Georgiou, as well as the previous composer and costume designer, Yiannis Psimadas and Eleni Kyriakou, respectively.

The new costumes, inspired by ancient Greece and designed by Mary Katrantzou, were then presented through a performance involving two priestesses and a kouros.

Olympic Flame-lighting ceremony will take place on April 16

The Olympic Flame-lighting ceremony will take place on April 16, with Mina using the traditional curved mirror to light the Olympic Torch using the sun’s rays.

The High Priestess will then deliver the Olympic Flame to the first runner in the Torch Relay, rowing Olympic medalist Stefanos Douskos, at the edge of the ancient stadium in Olympia, kicking off the 11-day relay in Greece.

The Olympic Flame will be handed over to the organizers of the Paris Games on April 26, in Athens, spend the night in the French Embassy and then depart for France on the ship “Belem” the following day.

The ship is due to arrive in the port of Marseille on May 8, where the French section of the Torch Relay will begin, lasting 68 days until it culminates in the lighting of the Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Games on July 26.

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