ATLANTA — For the first time in nearly 24 years, Atlanta's Olympic flame is burning over an athletic competition.

The Olympic cauldron stands over the intersection of Fulton Street and Hank Aaron Drive, just down the road from where the then-Centennial Olympic Stadium served as the main site of the 1996 Summer Games. 

It was famously lit by Muhammad Ali during the opening ceremonies.

Just before noon on Saturday, it was ceremonially lit again for the first time since those Games. 

Georgia State University, which now owns the stadium (after it spent roughly two decades being Turner Field), says it ignited the flame for the 2020 Olympic U.S. Marathon Trials being held here.

RELATED: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to be hosted in Atlanta

The flame will remain lit until the marathon trials end around 3:30 p.m., the school said. The trials are being broadcast on NBC and 11Alive.

As opposed to lighting the flame with a torch, as was done during the 1996 Games, this year, the cauldron was ignited using a smartphone app. Georgia State University's mascot, Pounce, along with school officials and fans were present for the event. 

This year's 26.2-mile Olympic marathon trial course will go through some of Atlanta's most historic and visually stunning neighborhoods. The race will begin in front of Centennial Olympic Park and head down Marietta Street toward Peachtree Street.

Racers will then take the legendary thoroughfare northward for three miles, passing the spot where Peachtree Street meets West Peachtree Street before turning around and heading back toward downtown and looping through the historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

Runners will then head back downtown.

This is a loop that the racers will take three times before they take a final 2.2-mile-long loop which will take them under the cauldron.

The racers will run past the Georgia State Capitol building, then head past Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena before getting to the Finish Line, located in Centennial Olympic Park.

Runners will then head back downtown.

This is a loop that the racers will take three times before they take a final 2.2-mile-long loop which will take them under the cauldron.

The racers will run past the Georgia State Capitol building, then head past Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena before getting to the Finish Line, located in Centennial Olympic Park.

The top three men and women finishers in the race become eligible to represent the United States in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The fourth and fifth place finishers will be designated as alternates.

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