Olympic Flame Lit in Greece, Marking Countdown to Paris 2024 Games

The torch for the highly anticipated Paris 2024 Olympic Games was ceremoniously ignited in ancient Olympia on Tuesday, signaling the final leg of the seven-year preparation journey for the Games set to commence on July 26, Reuters reported.

Greek actress Mary Mina, portraying the role of the high priestess, kindled the torch using a backup flame instead of the customary parabolic mirror, owing to overcast skies. This marked the commencement of a relay spanning Greece and France, ultimately leading to the lighting of the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony in the French capital. Paris, hosting the summer Olympics for the third time in history, following the editions of 1900 and 1924, eagerly awaits the grand event.

Amidst the solemnity of the occasion, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach addressed the audience, acknowledging the prevailing global turmoil characterized by escalating conflicts and adversities. "In these difficult times we are living through, with wars and conflicts on the rise, people are fed up with all the hate, the aggression, and negative news they are facing day in and day out", remarked Bach, cited by Reuters. "We are longing for something which brings us together, something that is unifying, something that gives us hope. The Olympic flame that we are lighting today is the symbol of this hope".

However, amidst the backdrop of geopolitical tensions, the IOC has taken a decision that has sparked controversy. Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, the IOC has granted clearance for Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the Olympics. However, they will compete as neutral athletes, devoid of any national flag or anthem. This decision has drawn ire from Moscow, emphasizing the...

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