The Olympic torch relay will begin with a woman athlete for the first time ever.
Greece’s Hellenic Olympic Committee announced on Thursday that gold medalist Anna Korakaki will start the torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Now This reported.
Korakaki is a shooting world champion who has been a part of the Greek national Olympic team since 2010. During the Rio Olympics, she took home a gold and bronze medal.
Per tradition, she will start the relay during a lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece on March 12, then pass the torch to Japanese long-distance runner Mizuki Noguchi. The torch will continue to be passed along and eventually travel to Japan, where it will visit all 47 prefectures. It will then arrive at Tokyo’s refurbished National Stadium for the July 24 opening ceremony, according to The Japan Times.
“It’s a great honour for me,” Korakaki said “I am thrilled, and I think the feelings will get even more intense in Ancient Olympia. I am looking forward to experiencing that moment and I’m sure it will remain etched in my mind and heart for the rest of my life.”
According Now This, Korakaki is the first woman to start the Olympic relay, the first woman athlete to light the opening ceremony flame was Mexican sprinter Enriqueta Basilio at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City.