The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) has unanimously decided that Olympic shooting champion Anna Korakaki will be the first torchbearer at the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, on 12 March 2020 in Ancient Olympia.
For the first time in history, a woman will carry the Olympic flame first, shortly after it has been lit by the High Priestess, Xanthi Georgiou.
“It's a great honour for me. I am thrilled, and I think the feelings will get even more intense in Ancient Olympia. I am looking forward to experiencing that moment and I'm sure it will remain etched in my mind and heart for the rest of my life,” said Korakaki, who won two medals at Rio 2016 – gold in the 25m pistol and bronze in the 10m air pistol.
Ekaterina Stefanidi, a gold medallist at Rio 2016 in the pole vault, will carry the Olympic flame at the Panathenaic Stadium on 19 March and will pass it on to the Tokyo 2020 team.
The HOC President, International Olympic Committee Member Spyros Capralos, said of the selection of the two Olympic champions: “It is a historic moment, as for the first time in history a female athlete will be the first torchbearer. I believe that Anna Korakaki has honoured the Greek flag and our country, and she deserves it, not only for the two medals at the Rio Olympics, but also for her successes after 2016. I am also happy for Ekaterina Stefanidi, another amazing Greek athlete who shines in the sports word. We are proud of our continued success. Congratulations to both of our athletes.”