Encendido de antorcha olímpica será a puerta cerrada / Olympics: Tokyo Games flame ceremony scaled back due to virus

El encendido de la antorcha olímpica, programado para este próximo jueves 12 de marzo en las ruinas de la antigua Olimpia, se celebrará bajo estrictas medidas contra el COVID-19.

El Comité Olímpico Heleno (HOC, por sus siglas en inglés) ha decidido cerrar el acceso al público para el encendido de la llama, según anunció en un comunicado.

Fuentes del HOC confirmaron a Efe que aunque los periodistas no podrán ver los ensayos, sí podrá acudir uno de cada medio a la ceremonia oficial.

Además, desde este organismo se ha optado por limitar el número de medios japoneses acreditados de 170 a 40.

Olympics: Tokyo Games flame ceremony scaled back due to virus

Greece’s Olympic committee said Friday it will limit the number of guests at next week’s Tokyo Games flame lighting ceremony in Olympia, western Greece, due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

While the committee said earlier this week that the ceremony will go ahead as scheduled on March 12, it said in a statement that “accreditation cards for guests will not be issued” due to the virus, which has seen more than 98,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

It does not plan to limit the number of attending officials from the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee or members of the media.

According to local media, there has been a rapid increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in western Greece, causing authorities to ban package tours to the area in addition to holding soccer matches behind closed doors.

The Greek committee has already announced the cancelations of lunches, dinners and receptions held in conjunction with the ceremony. It has also decided to recommend authorities of Ancient Olympia reduce the number of public events.

The dress rehearsal of the ceremony on March 11 is scheduled to take place without spectators.

The Olympic flame will be ignited using rays of the sun and a parabolic mirror. The ceremony is followed by a torch relay in Greece before the Tokyo Olympic organizers receive the flame on March 19 in Athens.

The handover ceremony in Athens was scheduled to have a cultural performance by 140 Japanese schoolchildren. But the Tokyo organizers announced on Friday that they would not send the group to Athens due to the virus.

The Japan leg of the relay will begin in Fukushima on March 26 and it will travel across all 47 prefectures over a period of 121 days.