2022 Olympic flame to be lit in Greece without spectators

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The coronavirus pandemic will again keep spectators away from another Olympic flame lighting ceremony scheduled for next month, the Greek Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday.

The flame for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing is scheduled to be lit with a traditional ceremony at Ancient Olympia on Oct 18 and will be handed to the Beijing organizers at another ceremony on Oct 19 at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.

"Due to the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the lighting ceremony will be held in strict compliance with local health protocols. The Olympic Torch Relay on Greek territory will have a shorter duration than the recent past," the committee said.

The committee said that the Olympic flame will be carried by a few torchbearers in Ancient Olympia and then will travel to Athens.

"The two ceremonies in Ancient Olympia and at the Panathenaic Stadium will take place without the presence of an audience and will be attended only by accredited persons because of the COVID-19 pandemic," the committee said.

The Olympic flame for the 2020 Tokyo Games was also lit in a ceremony in Ancient Olympia without spectators because of fears over the coronavirus.

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