10 May 2012
Last updated at 16:33
At the lighting ceremony of the Olympic flame, actress Ino Menegaki played the key role of the high priestess. Using a parabolic mirror - and a little olive oil - she captured the morning sun's rays to ignite the Olympic flame. The ceremony took place at the Temple of Hera, Greece, where the flame is kindled for every Olympics.
The specially-made torch was used to transfer the flame to the archaic pot, which was taken via an ancient pathway to the site of the first Olympic Games.
The high priestess lifted the pot and the entourage walked to the neighbouring stadium area, where crowds had gathered to watch the spectacle.
Once in the stadium area, the priestesses performed a graceful ritual dance. It was there that the flame was hit by a gust of wind and a puff of smoke could be seen coming from the urn. It was quickly re-lit from the mother flame.
Actresses playing the part of priestesses wore full-length robes and danced during the lighting ceremony, which was staged at the birthplace of Olympic Games in 776 BC.
A 15-strong delegation from London 2012 organisers Locog, led by chairman Sebastian Coe, sat in the scorching sun to watch the priestesses dance and men dressed as heralds put on a display symbolising athletic strength.
World champion 10K open water swimmer Spyros Gianniotis of Greece had his torch lit from the freshly-kindled flame, before running out of the stadium and starting the London 2012 Games torch relay. He began what will be a eight-day relay across Greece, before a handover ceremony on 17 May.
Crowds cheered as Liverpool-born Gianniotis held aloft the torch and an olive branch, a symbol of peace. Torch designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby said the lit torch looked, "magical", adding: "We hope the torch will symbolise everyone's hopes for a great Games in London."
Alex Loukos, a keen boxer from Newham, east London, lit the 2012 Olympic torch from Gianniotis. Mr Loukos, whose family is from Greece, was one of 30 schoolchildren who travelled to Singapore in 2005 as part of London's closing bid for the Games.
On becoming the second torchbearer of the Olympic flame for the 2012 Games, 19-year-old Loukos said: "It was emotional. It was moving. It was something I will never forget."