Olympic Flame reaches Acropolis for handover ceremony
Athens, May 17 (IANS) The Olympic Flame for the 2012 London Games was welcomed with great enthusiasm in Athens, as it reached the Acropolis Hill, finishing its long trip across Greece on the eve of the handover ceremony.
Greek world champion in high jump Dimitris Chondrokoukis lit the cauldron on the sacred hill Wednesday that will host the Olympic Light overnight, sending the world messages of the Olympic ideals.
The lighting of the cauldron in front of the Parthenon temple marked the end of the seventh day of the Torch Relay that had started from the city of Lamia, about 200 km north of Athens and crossed Piraeus port, before reaching Athens, reported Xinhua.
Veteran Olympic champions, such as Niki Bacoyanni (high jump 1996 Atlanta), and other athletes, as well as members of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), were among torchbearers at the finish line of the Greek leg of the Torch Relay that started last Thursday at Olympia, the birth place of the Olympics 2,500 years ago.
The handover ceremony of the Sacred Flame that was lit in a touching ritual ceremony at Olympia May 10, will take place at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.
The ceremony will be attended by Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Princess Anne of the United Kingdom, who has participated in the Games in the past, in equestrian events, said a press release of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.
According to Greek media, English football star David Beckham will be standing next to Princess Anne, along five children from the UK when HOC president Spyros Capralos will hand her the Flame.
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