Paris 2024 Olympics: Countdown to Games begins as Olympic torch lit in ancient Olympia

The torch for the 2024 Olympic Games was lit in ancient Olympia on Tuesday. Paris will host the Summer Games for a third time after 1900 and 1924

Greek actress Mary Mina, playing the role of high priestess, lit the torch using a backup flame

The French torch relay will last 68 days, ending in Paris with the lighting of the Olympic flame on July 26

The first runner of the relay was Greece’s Olympic rowing champion Stefanos Ntouskos

The flame was then handed to France’s three-time swimming Olympic medallist and head of Paris’ Olympic torch relay, Laure Manaudou

The flame will be officially handed over to Paris Games organisers in Athens’s Panathenaic stadium, on April 26

The flame will then depart the next day for France, and will arrive in Marseille on May 8

The last torch bearer in Marseille will climb on the roof of the Velodrome stadium on May 9

“We are longing for something which brings us together. The Olympic flame that we are lighting today is the symbol of this hope,” said IOC President Thomas Bach