|Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli Attends the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony|
On April 21, the torch lighting ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics was held at the site of the ancient Olympic Stadium in the municipality of Ancient Olympia. Over 3000 people attended the ceremony including Greek President Pavloplous, Minister Kouroumblis for Interior-Administration Reconstruction, Deputy Minister Kontonis for Sports, President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee, Vice-President Yu Zaiqing of the IOC, Mr. Capralos, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Mr. Kotzas, mayor of the Municipality of Ancient Olympia, as well as representatives of athletes, the diplomatic corps in Greece and local communities. At the invitation of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli and his wife attended the ceremony.
Mayor Kotzas, HOC President Capralos, IOC President Bach, and Mr. Nuzman, president of the Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, delivered speeches.
At 12:52 p.m., the high priestess played by actress Katerina Lechou, successfully lit the sacred flame at the site of the Temple of Hera. The flame was then carried to the playground. Priests and priestess played by actors and actresses danced on the hill surrounding the playground, the inspirations of which were drawn from ancient Greek sculptures and myths.
When the dancing was over, Lechou passed the torch to the first torchbearer, famous Greek gymnast Leferis Petrounias. Also passed over was the olive branch that represents peace, victory and glory. The torch relay in Greece will take 6 days and cover 2235 kilometers.
After the ceremony, Ambassador Zou held cordial talks with the chief director and the actress for the high priestess.