Culture

For the First Time in History, the Olympic Torch Relay Will Begin with a Female Athlete

Anna Korakaki has been announced as the ceremony’s starting athlete.

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For the First Time in History, the Olympic Torch Relay Will Begin with a Female Athlete

Anna Korakaki has been announced as the ceremony’s starting athlete.

Up until this year, the Olympic Games’ ceremonial relay race has never been started by a female athlete. The tradition, which kicks off in Olympia, Greece and makes it way to the site of the Games, was first performed in 1936.

For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Rio de Janeiro gold medalist, Anna Korakaki, has been announced as the race’s starting athlete. The relay will begin with the traditional flame-lighting ceremony at the Temple of Hera — interestingly, the flame is customarily lit by a female high priestess who uses just a mirror and the sun’s reflection to ignite a flame.

Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos dubbed the selection of Korakaki “a historic moment.” The 23-year-old athlete has been a member of Greece’s national Olympic team since 2010, and won both a gold and bronze medal for 25m shooting and 10m shooting respectively at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In related news, Nike has unveiled sustainable athlete uniforms for the United States Olympic team.

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