Olympic flame handed over to China ahead of Beijing Winter Games

Olympic flame handed over to China ahead of Beijing Winter Games

The Olympic flame for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games was handed over to the Chinese organizing committee in Athens on Tuesday.

The ceremony was held in the Panathenaic Stadium, built entirely of marble. The first modern Olympic Games took place there in 1896.

Only a few invited guests were admitted to the ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing from Feb. 4 to 20 under strict hygiene protocols.

The flame was lit the previous day with the help of a concave mirror and the sun’s rays at the ancient site of Olympia on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula.

There was no long torch relay in Greece because of the pandemic. The flame instead stayed overnight at the Acropolis before being handed over to the Chinese.

The torch will now begin its journey to the Beijing Olympic Stadium.

The Chinese capital beat Kazakhstan’s Almaty in the 2015 bidding after the International Olympic Committee again struggled to find interested parties.

Beijing is to be the first city to host both a Winter and Summer Games following the 2008 Summer Olympics.