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Olympic flame lit before limited crowd
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch relay got under way on Thursday when the flame was lit by the rays of the sun in ancient Olympia in a scaled-down ceremony overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Actress Xanthi Georgiou, in the role of high priestess, used a parabolic mirror at the site of the ancient Greek Olympics to ignite the torch, before handing it to Greek Olympic shooting champion Anna Korakaki, the first woman to ever launch an Olympic relay.

Korakaki subsequently lit the torch of Japanese runner Mizuki Noguchi, the 2004 Olympic marathon champion. The torch will be handed over to Tokyo Games organizers in Athens on March 19 after a seven-day relay in Greece.

Only 100 accredited guests from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee attended the ceremony, which was televised in Greece, in ancient Olympia.
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, takes the flame from the parabolic mirror during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 First torchbearer, Greek shooting athlete Anna Korakaki, carries the Olympic flame and the olive branch during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Japanese former marathon runner Noguchi Mizuki and president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Toshiaki Endo pose for a picture following the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Japanese former marathon runner Noguchi Mizuki and president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Toshiaki Endo pose for a picture following the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 First torchbearer, Greek shooting athlete Anna Korakaki, carries the Olympic flame and the olive branch during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Second torchbearer, Japanese former marathon runner Noguchi Mizuki carries the torch and the olive branch during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 A priestess holds the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 A priestess holds the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, performs during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Tokyo 2020 Olympics officials during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 First torchbearer, Greek shooting athlete Anna Korakaki, carries the Olympic flame and the olive branch during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Second torchbearer, Japanese former marathon runner Noguchi Mizuki carries the torch during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 General view of the Tokyo 2020 logo on the torch during the opening of the Olympic flame torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 General view as actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 The flag of Japan, the Olympic flag and the flag of Greece during the cermony REUTERS/Costas Baltas
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Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 General view during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, carries the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
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Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 General view of the torch and flame as Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, holds the torch aloft after lighting the flame during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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March 12, 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece -...
Olympia, Greece
Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020
Olympics - Lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame for Tokyo 2020 - Ancient Olympia, Olympia, Greece - March 12, 2020 Actresses perform during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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