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GREECE —  The Olympic Flame is being lit today in front of 100 accredited guests from the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 officials.  In Olympia, Greece this morning, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos said the flame represents much more than the start of the games.

“This flame is the symbol of the traditions and values of the Olympic movement — friendship, excellence, solidarity, and respect. The torchbearers will convey the message of peace and that sport makes the world a better place,” Capralos said.

According to reports, the Olympic Flame will spend eight days in Greece before being flown to Japan for a 121-day trek through the country leading up to the Opening Ceremony cauldron lighting.

A Greek athlete is traditionally the first torchbearer, however this year, Rio Olympic shooting gold medalist Anna Korakaki will be holding the flame, making her the first woman to do so.  Tokyo 2020 officials say Japan’s 2004 Olympic marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi will be the second torchbearer.

The lighting ceremony, which is typically open to the public, was held without spectators due to coronavirus concerns.