Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Story behind the Olympic Torch

2008 Beijing Olympic Torch

The Olympic Flame, Olympic Fire, Olympic Torch, Olympic Light, Olympic Eye, and Olympic Sun are all names for an important symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, when a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since. The modern torch relay was introduced by Joseph Goebbels, as part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich.


The Olympic Torch today is ignited several months before the opening celebration of the Olympic Games at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Eleven women, representing the roles of priestesses, perform a ceremony in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.

The Olympic Torch Relay ends on the day of the opening ceremony in the central stadium of the Games. The final carrier is often kept secret until the last moment, and is usually a sports celebrity of the host country. The final bearer of the torch runs towards the cauldron, usually placed at the top of a grand staircase, and then uses the torch to start the flame in the stadium. It is considered a great honour to be asked to light the Olympic Flame. After being lit, the flame continues to burn throughout the celebration of the Olympics and is extinguished at the end of the closing ceremony of the Games.

For the ancient Greeks, fire had divine connotations — it was thought to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus. Therefore, fire was also present at many of the sanctuaries in Olympia, Greece. A fire permanently burned on the altar of Hestia in Olympia, Greece. During the Olympic Games, which honored Zeus, additional fires were lit at his temple and that of his wife, Hera. The modern Olympic flame is ignited at the site where the temple of Hera used to stand.

The Olympic Flame from the ancient games was reintroduced during the 1928 Olympic Games when an employee of the Electric Utility of Amsterdam called Gerhard Herlitz lit for the first time the flame of the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1928, the flame burnt in the Marathon Tower of the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.And after so many years finally after visiting all previous Olympic cities and finally it returned to Athens for the 2004 olympic.

But this year problem is still going on i lightning of the torch because of the Tibet Controversy and China's role behind it.

For more fun Click Teentweens

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