They lighted the flame with a skaphia, a hollow disc or mirror that, like the modern parabolic reflector, focussed the sun's rays into a single point to light the flame. Throughout the games, the flame would burn as a symbol of purity, reason, and peace. It was extinguished only when the last event of the festival had been completed or when the city itself had been defeated.
The first Olympics were held in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece. The modern Olympic Games are an annual sporting event organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC was founded on 5 January 1894 at the initiative of Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin. They have their headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The official calendar of events for the year is published in July each year, just before the opening ceremony of the games. Events are grouped into seven categories: athletics, boxing, fencing, gymnastics, wrestling, and swimming/diving.
In London 2012, more than 6,000 volunteers got involved with the games, working across 25 different countries. Their roles ranged from providing security to helping with medical services after accidents happened during events.
The London Olympics were successful in bringing people together from different nations who previously had been fighting each other - such as Germans and French - due to their differences over politics and religion. This shows how sports can be used to promote peace among nations.
The fire is started using the old method of reflecting the sun's rays in a parabolic mirror. Only in this manner can the Olympic flame be lighted. The flame is placed in an urn and carried into the old stadium, where it is presented to the first runner by the high priestess in charge of the process. This ceremony takes place before each race.
The torch relay begins on April 6th at the birthplace of athletics in Athens: the Panathenaic Stadium. Over the next two months, the torch will visit all five continents on which the Olympics are held, passing through many cities and countries along the way. At each destination, there will be a public ceremony featuring music, dance, and sport. The last day of the relay is scheduled for August 8th in Rio de Janeiro, where it will be extinguished (although some sources say it might be kept alive as a symbolic beacon of hope) before being transported back to Athens.
In conclusion, the torch relay is used to celebrate peace after war, love after hate, and beauty even when life is suffering. It is also believed that if you see the torch go by, it will bring you good luck in both your personal and professional lives.
The ancient Greeks revered fire, thinking that it was given to mankind by Prometheus, and utilized mirrors to focus the sun's light, kindling flames that burnt in front of Greek temples in perpetuity. More flames were set at Zeus' temple and those of his goddess wife, Hera, during the ancient festivities honoring Zeus. The Olympics were first held in 776 B.C. and ended in A.D. 393.
During the Roman Empire, the festival was not celebrated as it is today, but instead served as a time when emperors would show off their military prowess. On the fourth day of the games, participants marched around a circular track while priests of Dionysus (a god associated with wine and drama) carried flaming torches known as pyras, which were used to signal the start and end of events. At the end of the day's competitions, kings and queens would sacrifice animals to Dionysus in gratitude for saving their lives during the previous days' battles.
In A.D. 451, the last official Olympic ceremony was held to mark the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Europe's Middle Ages. However, medieval rulers continued to hold festivals called "olympics" that included many aspects of the original event except the marching around the track. These olympics often included battle re-enactments, executions, and displays of knightly skills.
Women clad in ancient-style robes, mimicking those used in ancient times, light the flame using a curved mirror and the sun. The concept of an Olympic Flame burning from the beginning to the end of the games was originally adopted at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, where a fire was set in the tower...
The modern version of the Olympic Flame was introduced at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It is carried around the stadium by bearers known as "Flamebearers".
The motto of the Olympic Movement is "One world, one dream", which is also the theme of the London 2012 Games. This dream is expressed through the slogan "Inspire the World", which features on the flags of all participating nations.
It all began with nine naked men who stood up in a boat and claimed they were the only thing standing between us and peace. If that wasn't enough, they went on to say that they had been appointed by their gods to rule over everyone else. Unsurprisingly, this didn't go down too well with their other gods, but rather than fight them, they decided to make peace with them and form an alliance. Since then, we have gone on to become two of the most powerful countries in the world. All thanks to some naked guys in a boat!
The story behind the origin of the Olympic Games is actually quite interesting.
The ancient Greeks believed that Prometheus bestowed fire to humanity, and that fire possessed holy properties. Mirrors were employed to concentrate the sun's beams on flames that would burn in front of Greek temples indefinitely. The modern Olympics are not bound by myth or legend; rather, they are a product of democracy and commerce. The modern Games are designed to be sustainable and affordable for all countries that participate. The torch relay has been an important part of every Olympics since 1936 when it was used to commemorate those who had died during the previous Games.
At the beginning of each new Olympic cycle, there is a special ceremony called laiafanōi in which the director of the Olympic Museum receives the holy object known as the "Lamp of Olympia". This lamp was used at Ancient Greek games to illuminate the stadium at night. It is made up solely of polished bronze and is covered in symbols relating to the history of sport. The priest examines it carefully and if it is found to be pure then it is taken away and placed inside a wooden crate. This crate is then sealed with wax and sent to Greece where it is opened in a public ceremony before being handed over to the director of the Olympic Museum.
Every four years the Holy Lamp is taken out of its crate and burned as a sacred offering to Zeus.
One of the most prominent emblems of the Olympic Games is the flame. It symbolizes the fire that Prometheus stole from the Greek god Zeus. The relay concludes at the site of the Olympic Games that year. During the opening ceremony, the flame is utilized to fire the cauldron.
The origin of this tradition dates back to 776 BC when the first Olympics were held in Greece. Each subsequent host city kept the flame after their own games had ended. It was not until 1932 that the practice stopped and now the flame is passed on permanently from one city to the next.
This permanent connection between cities remains today through a legal contract called the "Olympic Charter". All cities that will be hosts during the same period are required to participate in the flame ritual. If any city cannot or will not burn the flame, then another city can take its place.
There have been cases where a country has refused to burn their flag during the opening ceremony. In 1980, Moscow refused to burn its flag during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics because Soviet authorities believed that burning the flag would be an act of treason. Instead, a model of Lenin's tomb was used as a centerpiece for the event.
In 2004, Athens was unable to find a country willing to accept the responsibility of burning the flame due to the ongoing conflict in Iraq.