Olympics Flame Lit | God's World News

Olympics Flame Lit

  • T1 92652
    The first torchbearer, Greek Olympic gold medalist Stefanos Douskos, right, passes the flame to three-time Olympic medalist Laure Manaudou at the Ancient Olympia site in Greece on April 16, 2024. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • T2 18612
    Stefanos Douskos carries the Olympic torch after the official flame-lighting ceremony at the Ancient Olympia site in Greece. The flame will be carried through Greece before it is handed over to Paris organizers on April 26. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • T3 89529
    Performers take part in the official ceremony of the flame lighting for the Paris Olympics on April 16, 2024. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • T4 67397
    An actress carries a ceramic pot with the flame during the ceremony. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
  • T1 92652
  • T2 18612
  • T3 89529
  • T4 67397


You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.

The bad news: You've hit your limit of free articles.
The good news: You can receive full access below.
WORLDteen | Ages 11-14 | $35.88 per year

Already a member? Sign in.

Cloudy skies foiled the traditional lighting of the Olympic torch on Tuesday. Nevertheless, performers in southern Greece successfully lit the flame that will burn at the Paris Olympics. Now the torch will proceed toward Paris, France, for the opening ceremonies on July 26.

Under ideal circumstances, actresses performing as ancient Greek priestesses were to lower a fuel-filled torch into a parabolic mirror. The device focuses the Sun’s rays on its surface, and zing! Fire bursts forth. At least, that’s how the performers had practiced.

But on Tuesday, the Olympia weather seemed unlikely to cooperate. The performer assigned to light the torch went straight for the backup flame. That blaze had been lit on the same spot on Monday during the final rehearsal. Organizers kept the fire in a copy of an ancient Greek pot . . . just in case.

A few minutes later, the Sun finally appeared.

From the ancient stadium in Olympia, a relay of torchbearers will carry the flame more than 3,100 miles through Greece. The final torchbearer will hand the torch over to Paris Games organizers in Athens on April 26.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says the flame lighting combined “a pilgrimage to our past in ancient Olympia and an act of faith in our future.”

In today’s “difficult times,” he says, “We are longing for something which brings us together, something that is unifying, something that gives us hope.”

Many people may not realize what they really long for is Jesus. He is the only source for a future filled with love, peace, unity, and hope. (Romans 15:13)

Bach praised Paris organizers for doing “an outstanding job” with preparations for the July 26 through August 11 games.

He also highlighted cleanup efforts for the games. The cleanup will even allow athletes to swim in Paris’ Seine River “for the first time in a hundred years.”

Thousands of spectators from all over the world packed Olympia for Tuesday’s event. They watched amid the ruined temples and sports grounds on the site of the ancient games.

This year’s first torchbearer was Greek rower Stefanos Douskos, who won a gold medal in 2021 in Tokyo. The next was Laure Manaudou, a French swimmer who won three medals in Athens in 2004. She handed the torch over to senior European Union official Margaritis Schinas, a Greek.

The flame-lighting isn’t the only historic part of the event.

The flame will travel from Greece aboard Belem, a French sailing ship built in 1896. That was the year of the first modern games in Athens.

The ship should arrive in Marseille, France, on May 8. Greek colonists founded that port city some 2,600 years ago.

Jean-Michel Pasquet and friends traveled from France to see the lighting—and the French ship. “We thought it would be a unique opportunity to see the flame lighting at the historic site of Olympia,” Pasquet says. “And when we also learnt the Belem would carry the flame . . . we said we must do this.”

As for watching the Paris Games—Pasquet says attending in person would be “very expensive, unaffordable.” Instead, his group will follow along “on television . . . from our armchairs.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. — Romans 15:13