Olympic Champions To Bring Flame From Greece


Olympic champions to bring flame from Greece

The Olympic flame for the 2020 Tokyo Games will be delivered from Greece by two Japanese gold medalists.

The Games' organizers said on Friday that three-time Olympic champions, judoka Tadahiro Nomura and wrestler Saori Yoshida, will bring the flame.

After a lighting ceremony in Olympia on March 12, the two will carry the flame in a lantern and return to Japan on a special transport plane.

The aircraft is due to land at an Air Self-Defense Force base in Higashi-Matsushima City in Miyagi Prefecture on March 20. The city is one of the areas in northeastern Japan that was hard hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Children from Higashi-Matsushima, nearby Ishinomaki City and Onagawa Town will attend the arrival ceremony. Nomura and Yoshida are due to light a small cauldron.

Nomura says he feels honored to bring the precious flame from Greece and is also proud as an athlete. Yoshida says she will handle the flame carefully, and hopes to bring smiles to everyone in Japan.

The organizers and the government are studying whether the Air Self-Defense Force's aerobatic team, the Blue Impulse, can perform during the ceremony.

The Olympic flame will first be put on display in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima -- the three prefectures trying to recover from the 2011 disaster. The torch relay is due to start on March 26.