Friday, October 23, 2009

Global Greek Events: Olympia - The Lighting of The Olympic Flame for Vancouver 2010

Photo Source: Thanassis Stavrakis for the Associated Press

Απόλλωνα, Θεέ του ήλιου και της ιδέας του φωτός, στείλε τις ακτίνες σου κι άναψε την ιερή δάδα για τη φιλόξενη Πόλη του Βανκούβερ. Και συ ω Δία χάρισε. ειρήνη σ' όλους τους λαούς της γης και στεφάνωσε τους νικητές του Ιερού Αγώνα.

Τήνελλα ω Καλλίνικε. Τήνελλα! ...

Photo Source: Eleftherotypia (Enet)

Apollo, God of the Sun and the concept of light
, send us your rays and light this sacred torch for the hospitable city of Vancouver.
And you, O Zeus, grant peace to all the peoples of the world and crown the winners of this Sacred Competition.

Godspeed in Victory!

On Thursday 23 October 2009, the eyes of the athletic world turned towards Ancient Olympia, the home of the Olympic Games, for the simple yet magnificent ritual associated with the lighting of the Olympic Flame for the winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris
Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris

Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris

The high priestess, Maria Nafpliotou, lit skier Vasilis Dimitriadis' torch with the one lit by the rays of the sun and handed him an olive branch to take with him on his journey, symbol of the Olympic Truce.

Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris

Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris

Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris

From Olympia, the Sacred Olympic Flame began it's week long torch relay around Greece, culminating in the official handover ceremony to be held on Thursday 29th October at 6 pm at the Kalimarmaro Stadium, in Athens, the Pan Athenian Olympic Stadium built for the 1896 Games. There the Olympic Flame will be handed over to Canada, in the presence of officials at the highest level, including the Governor-General of Canada, H.E. Michaelle Jean, and will thus set off on it's journey to Vancouver...

Photo Source: Sakis Kostaris

Vasilis Dimitriadis, a skier in the Giant Slalom competition at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics, won the best place ever for Greece in a Winter Olympics and thus had the honour of being the first torchbearer of the XXI Winter Olympic Games.

Global Greek World especially thanks Sakis Kostaris, Hellenic Paralympic Athlete and Member of the Hellenic Paralympic Committee for kindly allowing us to use the photos of the ceremony at Olympia. Thanks very much, Saki!

To read more about the Olympic Flame Ceremony in Greek, from the Athens News Agency, Click Here

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