In GREece, a flaming lighting ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games is going to take place soon in Ancient Olympia. Earlier, rehearsals have been held ahead of the ceremony for the Sochi torch relay. Using the sun's rays - or so they claim - organizers carried out a successful rehearsal at the site of the ancient Olympics.
Under clear skies, actresses dressed as ancient priestesses took part in the rehearsal in southern GREece - lighting the torch using a parabolic mirror. The flame will be kept in reserve for the actual ceremony to be held Sunday. Thomas Bach, elected this month as the new president of the International Olympic Committee, was present at the event. Ice hockey star Alex Ovechkin will be the first Russian torchbearer. The Russian leg will cover a massive 65,000 kilometers before the Games starts in next February.
"Obviously will pass (the torch will pass) 65 thousand kilometres, in terms of the length, through all 9 time zones of russia, and the duration of our torch relay, will be 123 days." said Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of Sochi 2014 Oganizing Committee.
The flame lighting ceremony will be taking place soon in Ancient Olympia in GREece for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. The tradition to light the Olympic flame at the site of the first Olympic Games goes back some 2,800 years. The ceremony will be held in front of the ancient ruins of the Temple of Hera. And after the lighting, the flame will be handed over to the first torchbearer, which marks the starting point of the torch relay. The new International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, and Dmitry Chernyshenko, President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, are to attend the ceremony. Now let's go live to the scene.
The high priestess is played by GREek actress Ino Menegaki. She lights the torch among the ruins of the Doric temple to the goddess Hera.
Now that the flame is lit, it will begin a seven-day journey across GREece's mainly mountainous northern regions before arriving in Moscow on October 6th. And then starts the longest relay in the history of the Winter Games, through the hands of 14,000 torchbearers.
The flame will travel more than 65,000 kilometers across the country by foot, on sleighs, in hot air balloons and even a space shuttle as Russian cosmonauts plan to take an unlit torch on a four-day spacewalk in November.