Longest-serving High Priestess of the Olympic Flame ceremony at Ancient Olympia, Maria Moscholiou, has passed away in Athens.
Moscholiou was born in Athens and studied drama at the Greek National Theatre, where she performed for many years.
She also participated in the majority of the Lighting Ceremonies of the Olympic Flame as High Priestess: Mexico 1968, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 and Moscow 1980.
“Creating the Olympic Light is an unbelievable feeling. Watching what happens next in the countries where the Olympic Flame is travelling is unbelievable,” she said in one of her rare interviews.
She was awarded the City of Athens Medal for her contribution to the dissemination of the Olympic Ideal.
The Lighting of the Olympic Flame is held in Ancient Olympia and the Hellenic Olympic Committee is responsible for the Ceremony. The first Lighting took place in 1936 for the Berlin Olympic Games by the means of a concave mirror.
According to the ritual, the High Priestess proceeds to the lighting at the Temple of Hera (Heraion) which is opposite to the Temple of Zeus, at the archaeological site of Olympia. There, the High Priestess, calls the God of Sun Apollo to light the torch, making a prayer.