NEWS

Sprinter Katerina Thanou…

Sprinter Katerina Thanou, followed by the flags of the 202 nations that will compete in the Athens Olympics, brings the flame into the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Modern Olympics were held in 1896, last night. A crowd of about 15,000 people attended the ceremony at the end of the six-day journey through the Peloponnese and islands of the Saronic Gulf on the first leg of the global relay. The flame went out briefly as it was passed to Athens 2004 Organizing Committee head Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki but it was relit by an actress dressed as a high priestess. Police closed surrounding streets for security reasons. The flame will burn in a cauldron in the stadium until June 3, when it will leave for a relay across five continents and will return in early July.