The Olympic flame will be lit in a ceremony in Olympia, Greece today ahead of the start of the torch relay and the London 2012 Games.
The flame is kindled by a 'high priestess' who captures the morning sun's rays in a parabolic mirror.
The ceremony comes amid political and economic turmoil in the home of the Ancient Olympics, where a week-long leg of the relay will be held.
The lighting ceremony will take place in front of the ruins of the Temple of Hera.
The flame - an Olympic symbol meant to represent purity because it comes from the sun - is then placed in an urn and taken to the stadium where the ancient Olympic Games were staged.
There, it will light the London 2012 torch of Liverpool-born Greek world champion 10km swimmer Spyros Gianniotis, who will carry it on the first leg of the relay around Greece.
The flame then flies to Britain on 18th May for a 70-day relay around the UK.