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ANCIENT OLYMPIA (Greece), September 29 (Itar-Tass) - The flame of the XXII Olympic Winter Games that are to be held in Sochi in February 2013, was lit on September 29 in Ancient Olympia - birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games. The flame lighting ceremony was held at the ruins of an ancient Greek Temple of Goddess Hera.
The high priestess, played by actress Ino Menegaki, lit the Olympic flame from the sun’s rays. The main condition of the flame lighting ceremony is the absence of any artificial sources of ignition. The flame was to be lit only with the help of sunlight reflected from a large concave mirror, symbolising the approval of the Olympic Games by the gods and nature.
On this day, the weather was favourable for the participants of the ceremony - the flame was lit just a few seconds after the torch was put to the mirror. After leaving Greece, the flame will travel to outer space, the bottom of Lake Baikal, the North Pole and Europe's highest peak in the mammoth run across the vast country, carried by a record 14,000 torch-bearers.
Apart from the main torch, special lamps were lit from the Olympic flame in case the Olympic flame goes out for any reason.