THE Olympic torch relay got underway on Thursday morning as all eyes shift toward the Tokyo games this summer.
The ceremony took place a year later than expected thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Olympics WILL take place this year in Japan.
The Olympic torch ceremony got underway in Fukushima, JapanCredit: AFP
10,000 runners will carry the torch across Japan before it reaches TokyoCredit: AFP
What is the Olympic torch?
The Olympic torch is ceremonially relayed from Olympia in Greece, where the games first began, all the way to the host city of the current Olympics.
The torch is transported by plane from Olympia before being lit with the Olympic flame in the host country – in this year’s case – Japan.
The flaming torch is then carried by thousands of runners across various cities before finally reaching the city which will hold the games.
The Olympic torch relay first began at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and the tradition has carried on since.
Where is the Olympic torch relay taking place this year?
The torch landed in Fukushima, Japan earlier this week, and will be carried by 10,000 runners across Japan before the torch reaches Tokyo on July 23.
The torch will then be used to light the Olympic cauldron at the start of the opening ceremony.
No spectators were allowed at the torch ceremony, which got underway earlier today, because of coronavirus restrictions.
The Tokyo Games are taking place a year later than expected because of the coronavirusCredit: Reuters
Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto spoke glowingly about the torch relay at the ceremony, noting that it served as a ‘ray of light at the end of the darkness.
“This little flame never lost hope and it waited for this day like a cherry blossom bud just about to bloom,” she said.
The Olympic flame will be extinguished at the closing ceremony in August.