The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are already turning out to be historically monumental. The location itself has proven to hold historical significance. It is fitting that the flame for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics has been lit in the location where the Games originally began. The torch was lit in Ancient Olympia and will reach the Russian city of Sochi on February 7, 2014, to signal the start of the XXII Winter Olympic Games.
Though the Winter Games will run through February 23rd, the flame will travel through many destinations prior to the opening ceremony. During the Russian portion of the journey, the Olympic Flame will travel 65,000 kilometers.
The Flame will be placed in the hands of roughly 14,000 torchbearers. However, the most unique, and possibly most historically significant, is the fact that the flame will travel into outer space to reach the International Space Station. This marks the first time an Olympic Flame has traveled into outer space.
The famous Greek actress, Ino Menegaki, served as the High Priestess for the event where she completed her duties by lighting the flame at 12:44 p.m. local time.
Part of the service included Ino Menegaki asking Apollo to send his sunshine rays in order to guide the light needed for the torch. "Apollo, King of the sun, and the Idea of light, send your rays and light the sacred torch for the hospitable city of Sochi," Ino Menegaki said.
The following video shows a small portion of the ceremony.
Ino presented the torch to skier Yannis Antoniou who is the first torch bearer.
Efthymios Kotzias, the Mayor of Ancient Olympia, spoke with hopeful intent about what the torch's rays might influence. "We wish that the Olympic Light will inspire leaders and citizens of the world to cooperate for world peace," Efthymios Kotzias said.
The Olympics has remained relevant through the years, at least partially, because of what the Games represent.
Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said, "Just as in ancient Greece, the Olympic Games cannot settle political problems or secure lasting peace between peoples. The Olympic flame thus reminds us to be aware of our own Olympic limits."[Image And Video Via YouTube]