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Olympic flame lit

The countdown the Olympic Games in London has begun with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, where the ancient Games took place.

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Olympic flame lit

The flame is lit directly from the rays of the sun, through a parabolic mirror. Credit: ITV News

The Olympic flame for the London 2012 games has been lit in Greece this morning.

The traditional ceremony took place under a baking sun in front of the ruins of the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Ancient Games.

The flame is lit in front of the ancient ruins of the Temple of Hera Credit: ITV News

Dressed in traditional robes, a "high priestess" llifted a blazing torch from a parabolic mirror. This is to guarantee the flame is lit directly from the sun, according to tradition and is the only way the flame can be lit, as stated by ancient rituals.

The "high priestess" with the Olympic flame. Credit: ITV News

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