History Of The Olympic Torch
The history of the Olympic Torch is quite remarkable and carries a great meaning of unity. Originating from ancient Greek mythology, the Olympic Flame represents the return of the stolen fire to Greek god Zeus, which stays lit for the entirety of the Olympic games. The commemorating of the Olympic Torch was reintroduced in 1928 at the summer Olympics in Amsterdam. The cauldron that holds the flame is often of dramatic design and is extremely creative and unique. The lighting of the flame is one of the most watched events of the Olympic games and is an astonishing tradition the entire world shares.
The start of the Olympic relay, which starts in Olympia, Greece, was an vision devised by Carl Diem, well-known for the popular catch phase "Carpe diem" or "Seize the day." The idea was to have the Olympic Flame lit in Olympia several days before the start of the games and have a series of runners carry the torch to the country hosting the Olympics, arriving the day of the opening ceremonies. Over time the flame has been transported in a different combinations of ways, such as by boat, airplane, horseback and even under water. In 1976, the flame was transformed into a radio signal and transmitted from Athens to a satellite in Canada where it was received and triggered a laser beam to light the Olympic Torch.
The lighters of the Olympic cauldron are usually famous athletes, retired athletes or athletes that have achieved compelling achievements like boxing champion Muhammad Ali and ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky. While the carrying of the torch has great honor and meaning, it's not without controversy. During the relay, there have been rallies, protests and innuendos of acts of violence. However, the supporters of this symbolic national unity is way stronger then its enemies and the tradition will continue on for years to come.