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Longtime Olympic flame lighting ceremony leader dies at 94

Olympic flame lighting in Olympia

OLYMPIA, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 29: Priestesses perform during the lighting ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Ancient Olympia on September 29, 2013 in Olympia, Greece. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

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Maria Horss, who took part in the first Olympic flame lighting ceremony in Olympia in 1936 and was its choreographer for more than 40 years, recently passed away, according to the Greek Olympic Committee.

She was 94 years old and the last surviving “priestess” from the 1936 ceremony, according to Greek reports and insidethegames.

Horss was a young teen when she first associated with the Olympics in the lighting ceremony for the Berlin 1936 Games, the first to incorporate the torch relay.

She directed the artistic presentation of the ceremony from 1964 through 2006.

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