The final countdown is on to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The flame that will burn at the main stadium has been lit during a traditional ceremony in Olympia.
Away from the political drama that is plaguing debt-ridden Greece, an actress playing a “high priestess” kindled the flame using a parabolic mirror to capture the sun’s rays.
“This special flame will carry a message of peace and friendship. It will also carry with the respect and good will of the people of the United Kingdom. It will shine a light in our country, remind people of the eternal values of the Olympic movement, that we all share,” said Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee.
Over the next seven days, the flame is being taken on a torch relay in Greece. It is due to be handed over to organisers of the London Games in Athens next week.
Once in Britain, it will be carried by eight thousand torch bearers around the country, culminating in the lighting of the cauldron at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July.