History Of Olympic Torch
The history of the Olympic Torch is a long and interesting one. The start of each Olympic Games begins with the lighting of the Olympic flame. The relay of runner carry the torch to the Olympics. It is a long standing history enriched with tradition and symbolism.
The ancient Greeks held Olympic competitions. During these games flames stayed lit to honor Zeus. Now the Olympic torch is ignited in Olympia, Greece where the torch relay begins.
The flame represents the positive values that Man has always associated with fire. The flame is lit in Greece to connect the Ancient Greek Games to the current Olympic Games. The relay of the torch starts in Greece and ends at the location of the Olympics. The flame heralds the upcoming Olympic Games and transmits a message of peace and friendship amongst Peoples.
The tradition of the Olympic torch relay first started during the Berlin, Germany Olympics of 1936. A man named Carl Diem takes the credit for the idea. He supposedly pitched the event as a way to infuse the Games with pageantry and buff the mythic image of the Third Reich. The first torch relay ran from Greece, through Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to Germany. Following the Olympics these countries were taking over by Germany during World War II.
The torch is typically pictured traveling with a runner on foot. However, the to travels by plane, boat, horse, and automobile as well to reach the long distances from Greece to the hosting city. The Torch Relay was first televised in 1960 to Rome.
The final torch bearer is often a young, aspiring athlete, to represent hope for the future. The athlete makes a complete lap around the stadium before lighting the cauldron. As it is lit, doves are released to symbolize peaceful atmosphere for the Olympic Games. The cauldron stays lit until the end of the games.