The flame that will burn during the London Summer Olympics was lit in Greece on Thursday in an elaborate ceremony hearkening back to ancient days.
It started when an actress, dressed as a high priestess, stood before the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, and used a mirror to focus the sun's rays and light a torch. You know, just like you light your fireplace at home.
The first torch-bearer, Greek swimmer Spyros Gianniotis, then took the torch and started running. He is one of 490 people who will carry the torch across Greece before it is handed off to a representative from London on May 17. Perhaps the London rep can come dressed as King Arthur or Sherlock Holmes to really get in the spirit of things.
The relay will eventually end at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony on July 27. The Games will run through Aug. 12.
London organizing chief Sebastian Coe was in attendance and was all fired up afterward.
"In 1948, shortly after the Second World War, my predecessor stood where I am today and made the first tentative steps in turning the world from war to sport,” Coe said, referring to the last time London hosted the Games. “We find ourselves in challenging times again and turn to sport once more to connect the world in a global celebration of achievement and inspiration.”