Rio 2016 Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony to be hosted in Olympia on Thursday, 21 April

The Olympic Flame will be lit this Thursday, 21 April, in a ceremony at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece. Before arriving in Brazil on 3 May for the start in Brasilia of the 95-day Olympic Torch Relay, which will pass through 329 cities in Brazil, the Olympic Flame will travel across Greece for six days. It then goes to Switzerland, where the flame will be taken to the UN headquarters in Geneva and the IOC Museum in Lausanne.

 ·         The Rio 2016 Olympic Flame will be lit at 12.00pm (9.00am GMT time) in Olympia


·         The ceremony may be watched live on the International Olympic Committee’s YouTube channel ( and on the Hellenic Olympic Committee’s website (


·         Actress Katerina Lehou, who will be playing the role of High Priestess, will be leading the ceremony at the Temple of Hera. She will be the first person to light the flame


·         Lehou will hand over the flame to the first Rio 2016 torchbearer, the Greek gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias, who competed on the artistic gymnastics test event in Rio last week (Read:


·         Two-time volleyball Olympic champion Giovane Gávio will be the first Brazilian person to run with the Torch, and the second torchbearer in Greece. (Read:


·         There will be 46 people at the ceremony, which was organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee, including 29 actors playing the role of priestesses and 13 dancers. The performance was choreographed by Artemis Ignatiou and the musical score was composed by Yiannis Psimadas.


·         The president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, will also participate in the ceremony


Find below the programme for the Rio 2016 Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony:


12.00pm – Start of the ceremony


Olympic Circles: a synthesis


12.07pm – Olympic Anthem – hoisting of the Olympic flag. Brazilian national anthem – hoisting of the Brazilian flag


12.11pm – Greek national anthem – hoisting of the Greek flag


·         “The Light of Olympia”, poem by Takis Doxas, recited by actor Yiannis Stankoglou


·         Speech by the mayor of Ancient Olympia, Mr. Efthymios Kotzas


·         Short speech by the president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Mr. Carlos Arthur Nuzman


·         Short speech by the president of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Thomas Bach


12.23pm – Short speech by the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Mr. Spyros Capralos


12.26pm – Entrance of the designated officials into the Temple of Hera


12.32pm – Ritual of the Lighting Ceremony at the Temple of Hera


·         Entrance of High Priestess and priestesses into the Ancient Stadium with the Olympic Flame


·         Dance performance by the priestesses


12.50pm – Handing over of the Olympic Flame by High Priestess to the first torchbearer


·         Departure of the first torchbearer for the Pierre de Coubertin monument


·         Start of the Olympic Torch Relay


First torchbearers


Eleftherios Petrounias, 26, who secured a spot at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, won three gold medals on rings in 2015: at the World Championship, in Glasgow, the European Championship, in Montpellier, and the European Games in Baku. Petrounias was voted the best athlete of 2015 by the Pan-Hellenic Association of Sport Press. This is his first participation in the Olympic Games.


Former volleyball player Giovane Gávio is a two-time Olympic Champion (Barcelona 1992 and Athens 2004), four-time World League winner (1993, 2001, 2003, 2004), world champion in 2002, and two-time winner of the European Champions League. He was also voted best blocker and best attacker, respectively, at the 1989 and 2003 World Cups in Japan. Gávio will participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a Sport Manager, responsible for both the indoor and beach volleyball championships.


The Olympic Flame


Ancient Greeks considered fire a divine element. They kept eternal flames at the entrance of main temples such as the sanctuary of Olympia, where the Ancient Olympic Games took place. The flame used to be lit using a “skaphia”, a concave mirror that focused the sun’s rays on a specific spot to guarantee its purity. The flame was kept permanently alight at the altar of Hestia, as well as those of Zeus and Hera, across from where the Olympic Flame is currently lit.


The Modern Olympic Torch Relay started at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games, and it has been a part of the event ever since. The sacred flame is lit in Olympia and the relay carries it to the opening ceremony of the Games.


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Termos de Uso

Broadcasters Detentores de Direitos (RHBs): Os RHBs podem fazer a transmissão do Revezamento da Tocha Olímpica no Brasil, de forma não exclusiva, de acordo com os termos de seus respectivos contratos firmados com o COI.

Broadcasters Não Detentores de Direitos (Non -RHBs): Os Non -RHBs podem fazer a transmissão do Revezamento da Tocha Olímpica no Brasil (com exceção das cerimônias de abertura e encerramento), de forma não exclusiva, pelo prazo máximo de 36 (trinta e seis) horas após o evento. Qualquer transmissão relacionada a este evento, deve ser realizada de forma estritamente jornalística, sem criar ou ser apresentada como um programa focado no Revezamento da Tocha Olímpica.

Nenhuma associação comercial / promocional será permitida na cobertura do Revezamento da Tocha Olímpica. Principalmente, a transmissão do Revezamento da Tocha Olímpica não poderá (i) ser patrocinado ou de qualquer for criar uma associação que crie a impressão de que o Non -RHBs e/ou qualquer entidade sem autorização e/ou seus produtos são conectados ou associados ao Revezamento da Tocha Olímpica, ao Jogos Olímpicos, ao COI e/ou ao Movimento Olímpico e (ii) implique, sugira ou represente os Non -RHBs como sendo detentores oficiais dos direitos de transmissão e/ou parceiros do Revezamento da Tocha olímpica, dos Jogos Olímpicos, do COI e/ou do Movimento Olímpico.

Cerimônias de Abertura e Encerramento: A parte do revezamento que ocorrerá durante as cerimônias de abertura e encerramento dos Jogos faz parte dos direitos exclusivos concedidos aos RHBs e qualquer transmissão pelos Non-RHBs deve ser realizada em observância às Novas Leis de Acesso do COI.

Terms of Use

Rights Holding Broadcasters (RHBs): RHBs may broadcast the Olympic torch relay in Brazil, on a non-exclusive basis, in accordance with the terms of their respective media rights agreement with the IOC.

Non-Rights Holding Broadcasters (Non-RHBs): Non-RHBs may broadcast the Olympic torch relay in Brazil (with the exclusion of the opening and closing ceremonies), on a non-exclusive basis, for a maximum of 36 hours after the event. Any such broadcast must be positioned as news only and not to create, or be positioned as, Olympic torch relay focused programming.

No commercial/promotional association is permitted with the coverage of the Olympic torch relay. In particular, broadcast of the Olympic torch relay may not (i) be sponsored or otherwise be associated in any way to give the impression that Non-RHBs and/or any unauthorized entities and/or products are linked to or associated to the Olympic torch relay, the Olympic Games, the IOC and/or the Olympic Movement and (ii) imply, suggest or represent Non-RHBs as being official rights holding broadcasters and/or partners of the Olympic torch relay, the Olympic Games, the IOC and/or the Olympic Movement.

Opening and Closing ceremonies: The part of the torch relay occurring during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games is part of the exclusive rights granted to RHBs and any broadcast by Non-RHBs must comply with the IOC News Access Rules.