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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 14:18 GMT
Olympic flame ceremony in pictures
Greek actress Thalia Prokopiou lights the torch at the Temple of Hera
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Greek actress Thalia Prokopiou, dressed as the high priestess, lights the torch at the Temple of Hera using a parabolic mirror
Greek actress Thalia Prokopiou recreates the ancient ceremony at the Temple of Hera
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Prokopiou summons the sacred light of Apollo in the ruins of Ancient Olympia, where the Games were born in 776 BC
Greek actress Thalia Prokopiou lights the Olympic torch at the Temple of Hera
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It is the first time the torch has lit straight away since the ceremony for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics
Greek actress Thalia Prokopiou
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As the torch is lit Prokopiou declares: "Apollo, god of the sun and the idea of light, send your rays and light the sacred torch for the hospitable city of Athens"
Greek actress Thalia Prokopiou lifts the torch
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The torch now begins a relay trip around the world, visiting all five continents represented by the Olympic rings
Actresses recreate the ancient ceremony at the Temple of Hera
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The torch will visit every previous Olympic city and is expected to cover 48,500 miles in 27 different countries
Greek javelin star Costas Gatzioudis runs with the torch
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Greek javelin star Costas Gatzioudis takes the torch on the first leg of a seven-day trip through Greece




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