In a traditional ceremony organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), the Flame was lit at the Temple of Hera, next to the historic ruins of the home of the ancient Olympic Games. The High Priestess used a parabolic mirror to capture the sun’s rays to create the Flame. It was then carried into the Ancient Olympic Stadium.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: 'The Olympic Flame lit in Olympia will connect the ancient Games and the modern Games. Cities, towns and villages across Greece and Britain will be connected together and to the London 2012 Olympic Games forever.’
Find out more about the history of the Olympic Torch Relay.
First London 2012 Torchbearer
British-born Greek 10km swimming world champion Spyros Gianniotis had the honour of starting the Olympic Flame’s journey across Greece. He carried the Flame from the Ancient Stadium, via Pierre de Coubertin’s Grove, before handing the Flame on to 19-year-old London Borough of Newham resident Alexandros (Alex) Loukos.
Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony
The Olympic Flame will now be taken on an eight-day relay around Greece before arriving at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on the evening of Thursday 17 May for the Handover Ceremony.
It will arrive in the UK at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, near Helston in Cornwall, in the early evening of 18 May, and start its 70-day journey around the UK the following day.