The Olympic torch for this year's London Games was lit Thursday in Greece, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics.

Olympic officials say torchbearers will carry the flame on a seven-day journey across Greece before it leaves for Britain on May 18.

In Britain, the torch will be carried on a 70-day relay, covering nearly 13,000 kilometers, and through just over 1,000 villages before the lighting of the Olympic cauldron in Olympic Stadium on the opening day of the games July 27.  

The chief of the London Games, Sebastian Coe, said the torchbearers carrying the flame will be lifting the spirits of people across Britain and the world.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.