Female athlete launches Olympic torch relay for the first time

Athens, Greece (AP) —The first woman to enter a torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Games, the birthplace of the Greek ancient Olympic Games, was selected for the first time.

The Greek Olympic Committee said on Thursday that Rio de Janeiro had chosen gold medalist Anna Kollakaki as the first torch bearer following the igniting ceremony at the ancient Olympia on March 12.

The carefully choreographed ceremony, led by an actress posing as an ancient Greek woman, uses a bowl-shaped mirror to illuminate the flames and focus the sun’s heat on the torch. She tells it to Korakaki.

The torch relay will tour Greece for a week before handing over the fire to a Tokyo organizing officer at a ceremony in Athens. The last torch bearer is also a woman. Greek Katerina Stefanidi who won the Rio pole vault gold medal.

Spyros Capralos, chairman of the Greek Olympic Committee, said the choice of Kolakaki was a “historical” moment.

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