Greece's Gianniotis to launch Olympic torch relay
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The Greek Olympic committee says English-born Greek swimmer Spyros Gianniotis will be the first torchbearer in its leg of the London torch relay.
The flame will be ceremoniously lit on May 10 at Olympia in southern Greece, birthplace of the ancient games. The 32-year-old Gianniotis, who is the 10-kilometer open water world champion, will receive the torch from an actress posing as an ancient pagan priestess.
After being carried through Greece, the flame will be handed over to London organizers in Athens on May 17 in the stadium where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.
The last torchbearers in the Greek leg will be Chinese gymnast Li Ning, who lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing 2008 Games, and Greek weightlifter Pyrros Dimas.
The London Olympics begin on July 27.