The Olympic torch relay has begun and is set to pass through Brussels - due to its position at the centre of the European Union - on 22 June on its way to Athens for the opening of the Games on 13 August. The flame was lit at the Temple of Hera in ancient Olympia, Greece, on 25 March, using the ancient ritual of using the power of the sun's rays concentrated within a concave mirror. Several speakers attended the event, including International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, ATHENS 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Hellenic Olympic Committee Chairman Lambis Nikolaou and the mayor of Olympia, Giannis Skoularikis.
The torch will cross all five continents in a 46,800 mile trip before arriving in Athens. Greece is running well behind schedule in the completion of some of the venues with some reports saying that only half the venues are ready with less than 140 days before the Games start.
The New York Times - "Whether young or old, male or female, whether we live in a rich or disadvantaged country, the flame will unite us all," said Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, who will carry the flame past the committee's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.