• Date of Lighting: July 13, 1976
  • Colour of the torch: red, black
  • Height: 66cm
  • Weight: 836gr
  • Number of torches: 1250
  • Number of torchbearers: 1.214
  • First torchbearer: Tassos Psyllidis (110m. hurdles)
  • Last torchbearer: Sandra Henderson
  • Countries crossed: Greece, Canada
  • Kilometres: 775 (on foot)

It was the only time that the Olympic Flame was ‘electronically’ transmitted via satellite by a means of an electronic pulse derived from the actual burning flame. The ceremony started as usual in Ancient Olympia with Maria Mosholiou being once again the High Priestess and Greek 110 m. hurdles champion Tassos Psyllidis the first torchbearer.

The Flame arrived at the Panathenian stadium by a young champion in decathlon, Constantinos Costis, member of the Panellinios club. Apostolos Nikolaidis then handed the Sacred Light to the Canadian organisers. In Canada, you had to be a Canadian national below 15, in a good shape and have a great interest in sports in order to become a torchbearer. Some 4,000 people had applied for about 775 places.

During the Games, an unexpectedly strong storm put out the Flame on the Olympic stadium’s altar. After that, a Canadian worker, Pierre Brouchar lit the Flame with a lighter. Canadian organisers then lit the torch using the Flame which is kept in a safety lamp.

High Priestess