The torch of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was lit in southern Greece on Thursday (April 21).
Lighting a flame in Olympia has been a ritual since the Games started there in the eight century BC.
During the ceremony, actress Katerina Lechou performed the role of high priestess, using the sun’s rays to light the torch.
“In these difficult days that Brazil is facing, the flame is a timeless remember that we are all a part of the same humanity,” said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee.
“The flame is an ancient symbol of peace and harmony, a symbol of the power of humanity to come together despite our differences”.
The torch will be carried all the way to Brazil by some 10,000 runners, in an international relay that will culminate with the Games’ opening ceremony in Rio on August 5.