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  Olympic flame lit in Greece
Updated 19 November 2001, 15.57
Greek high priestesses take part in the cermony
Even though the Winter Olympics don't begin until February 2002, the famous Olympic flame has already been lit.

And it's been lit in Athens, Greece - thousands of miles from where the games will be held in America!

The Olympic flame is lit
That's because the lighting of the Olympic flame is one of the oldest traditions in sport, and takes place where the Olympics were invented.

It even uses the traditional method of lighting the flame, which is to use mirrors to aim the sun's rays and light the flame.

Carried through America

Fact File
Winter Olympic facts
2002 will be the 19th Winter Olympics
Britain's last gold medal came in 1984
Unfortunately, too much cloud meant the flame had to be lit from an already burning torch, which was started by sunlight earlier in the week.

The flame now stays in Greece until December. It then is taken to America and carried from Atlanta to Salt Lake City by a relay of people that will take 65 days to complete.

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