NEWS

Flame relay for Paralympics

The flame for the September 17-28 Paralympics will be lit in central Athens on September 9 before being taken around the city and arriving at the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony. Officials will light the first torch in the Ancient Agora in Thiseion, underneath the Acropolis, in a ceremony inspired by the myth of Hephaestus, one of the 12 ancient Greek gods. The flame will then be taken around the Attica region by 705 torchbearers. The relay will pass through 54 municipalities, covering a distance of 410 kilometers (256 miles) before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on September 17. The flame will burn during the Paralympics for the ninth time in the Games’ history. The flame carriers will include officials, dignitaries, sponsors and former Greek Olympians and Paralympians. They will go past various historic sites such as Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. Tickets for the Games, in which 4,000 physically disabled athletes, representing a record 140 countries, will compete, are already selling well say organizers.