TORINO 2006: The Olympic Flame lit in Olympia
The start of the XX Olympic Winter Games – Torino 2006 drew a step closer today as the Olympic Flame was kindled in Olympia, Greece. Ignited in the traditional way by the High Priestess, actress Theodora Siarkou, the flame was then used to light the official torch of the Turin Games. Following a short stay in Greece, the Olympic Flame will be flown to Rome, and the Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relay will begin its Italian journey on 8 December 2005.
The Olympic Flame is lit by the High Priestess in a ceremony in the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, using the sun’s rays reflected off a concave, burnished-steel mirror. The Flame is then transported in a copy of an ancient Greek urn to the area of the ancient Olympian stadium where it is used to light the Olympic Torch.
Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relay
On 8 December 2005, the President of the Republic of Italy, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, will light the torch for the first torchbearer on Italian soil – Stefano Baldini – at the Piazza del Quirinale in Rome. From here, the Flame will be carried by 10,001 torchbearers across the length and breadth of Italy, visiting 140 cities, all of Italy’s regions and neighbouring countries, such as Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and France. The Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relay will then conclude on 10 February 2006 in the Stadio Comunale in Turin, when the flame will be used to light the Olympic Cauldron as the XX Olympic Winter Games – Torino 2006 open in Turin.
The Flame at the Ancient Olympic Games
The history of the Olympic flame goes back to the Ancient Olympic Games. During the Games, it remained constantly alight at Olympia. The torch relay made its first appearance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Since then, the relay and the lighting of the cauldron have been a key part of Olympic protocol, heralding the coming of the Games.
The Olympic Winter Games will be held in Turin from 10 to 26 February 2006. The Winter Games comprise seven different sports and 15 different disciplines, which will be played out in eight different competition sites. Around 2,500 athletes, 650 judges and umpires and one million spectators are expected to participate in this 20th edition of the Winter Games.
DISCOVER THE OLYMPIC FLAME TORINO 2006 Learn more on Turin 2006
General and historical information on past torch relays
The Olympic flame and torch relay -