With only three days to go before the opening of the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck on Wednesday (4 February) a rehearsal of the Olympic flame lighting ceremony was staged on Sunday (1 February).
SV Flame being carried up steps
MV CU Spectators
MV Flame being carried as soldiers look on (2 shots)
SV Olympic flame being lit
CU Flags and name signs being paraded
MV Flags being paraded
CU Marshal giving instructions
CU Spanish flags carried past PAN TO bearers of national flags in line
Initials BB/0000 AB/DE/BB/0021
SPORT: WINTER OLYMPICS
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Background: With only three days to go before the opening of the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck on Wednesday (4 February) a rehearsal of the Olympic flame lighting ceremony was staged on Sunday (1 February).
Flanked by picturesque snow covered slopes, the 90 metre jump at the Berg Isel Stadium was the focal point for the ceremony. As the understudy for the athlete who will carry the torch on Wednesday wound his way to the top of the steps, he was watched by hundreds of spectators who are already in Innsbruck for the Games.
Although no athletes took part in the practice the Austrian soldiers and attractively uniformed hostesses who will be an integral part of the impressive ceremony were there.
The Olympic flame itself had arrived in Innsbruck earlier in the day after a three day journey from a Greek olive grove.
Housed in a miner's lamp decorated with the five olympic rings the flame was handed to Innsbruck Mayor Alois Lugger in a colourful ceremony in a sunlit medieval square in the town.
The flame will be guarded by a ceremonial company of traditional Tyrolean sharpshooters until Wednesday's opening ceremony.
SYNOPSIS: The Berg Isel Stadium in the Austrian town of Innsbruck where a rehearsal for the traditional Olympic flame lighting ceremony was held on Sunday afternoon.
The rehearsal was part of the many last minute preparations that are taking place before the opening of the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck on Wednesday.
Although none of the athletes who will take part in Wednesday's ceremony were involved in Sunday's practice uniformed Austrian soldiers flanked the steps to forma guard of honour as the flame was carried by.
The flags of all the nations taking part in the games were on display and the attractively uniformed hostesses who'll show visitors around were also there.
The Olympic flame arrived in Innsbruck after a three day journey from a Greek olive grove where it was kindled at the sacred altar of the Greek goddess, Hera.
Housed in a miner's lamp, the flame was ceremoniously presented to Innsbruck's Mayor and will be guarded by a group of Tyrolean sharpshooters until Wednesday's opening ceremony.