March 12, 2020 / 10:17 AM / a month ago

Olympics-Tokyo 2020 torch lit behind closed doors in ancient Olympia

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, GREECE March 12 (Reuters) - The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch was lit by the rays of the sun in ancient Olympia on Thursday to mark the final step towards the July 24-Aug 9 Games, currently in question because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Actress Xanthi Georgiou, in the role of high priestess, used a parabolic mirror in a scaled-down ceremony closed to spectators at the site of the ancient Greek Olympics to ignite the torch and mark the start of a torch relay. The torch will be handed over to Tokyo Games organisers in Athens on March 19.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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