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Amid virus precautions, Tokyo Olympic flame is lit in Greece


Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of the High Priestess, lights up the torch during the flame lighting ceremony at the closed Ancient Olympia site, birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Greek Olympic officials are holding a pared-down flame-lighting ceremony for the Tokyo Games due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Both Wednesday’s dress rehearsal and Thursday’s lighting ceremony are closed to the public, while organizers have slashed the number of officials from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, as well as journalists at the flame-lighting. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The flame for the Tokyo Olympics has been lit at the birthplace of the ancient games in a pared-down ceremony because of the spread of the coronavirus.

A Greek actress playing the part of a pagan priestess used a concave mirror to focus the sun’s rays on a silver torch.

The flame will be delivered to Tokyo organizing officials next week after a seven-day relay through Greece.

Fears of the coronavirus forced Greek officials to ban members of the public from attending the ceremony and severely curtail the number of invited officials and journalists.

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