• Date of Lighting: March 30, 1996
  • Colour of the torch: silver, brown, gold
  • Height: 80,5cm
  • Weight: 1550gr
  • Number of torches: 14.000
  • Number of torchbearers: 13.267
  • First torchbearer: Kostas Koukodimos (long jump)
  • Last torchbearer: Mohammed Ali
  • Countries crossed: Greece, USA
  • Kilometres: 27.890

Then President of the United States Bill Clinton, along with his wife Hillary and their only child Chelsea attended the Torch Lighting Ceremony, so Greek organisers took high security measures ahead of and during the Ancient Olympia event. However, it was a splendid Ceremony and High Priestess Maria Pambouki was just superb. Long-jump champion Kostas Koukodimos, who took the 6th place at the 1992 Barcelona Games, was the first torchbearer. Flashes of lighting and a fine rain had threatened to cancel the ceremony. But after a while, the sun appeared again and, all of a sudden, the weather cleared up. Thousands of Greek and Americans spectators, including the organisers themselves, were amazed by the spectacle choreographer Maria Hors had prepared. Her choreography was once again divine, beyond any imagination, as it was the case with the relay across Greece and the United States that followed. An American organizer said in a speech during the Flame’s relay: “As we carry this Flame to our country, we will always have in mind that it is your vision that we hold gratefully in our hands.”

High Priestess