2012-05-09 / State/National Sports

Olympic flame’s London journey about to begin

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) — The final rehearsal for the lighting of the flame that will burn at the London Olympics went off without a hitch under bright sunny skies in the birthplace of the Ancient Games.

Standing in front of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, an actress dressed as a high priestess used a concave mirror to focus the sun’s rays and light a torch.

That flame will serve as a backup in the unlikely event that clouds block the sun at Thursday’s official lighting ceremony. This has happened only once in recent memory for the Summer Olympics — in 2000, ahead of the late-season Sydney Games.

After an 1,800-mile journey through Greece using 490 torchbearers, the flame will be handed to London organizers on May 17 in Athens’ Panathenian Stadium, where the first modern games were staged in 1896. In contrast to the two previous Summer Games, where the Olympic flame relay went around the globe, it will leave the United Kingdom only once, to pass though Dublin on June 6.

The Olympic are from July 27 to Aug. 12.

Return to top

Click for Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Forecast