Greece's Olympia Everything nowadays begins in Olympia, Greece. A ceremony is held on the ancient site of the Olympic Games a few months before the Games begin. Actresses dressed as priestesses light the flame in front of the remains of the Temple of Hera. The flame is then taken to a nearby cemetery where it is buried under a cypress tree.
The first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896 and they are now celebrated annually in August. The opening and closing ceremonies are held at the ancient site of the Games. Before the ceremonies start everyone wears a white ribbon with colors representing their country or organization. They are held every four years except when they are cancelled due to circumstances such as war or disease.
The main objective of the Olympics is to have a fair competition between athletes from all over the world. The winner is supposed to be the one who performs best according to certain rules and regulations.
Besides sports events, other types of competitions are also held during the Olympics. Some examples are: artistic performances, drama productions, and music concerts.
In 2004, terrorists attacked the Olympic facilities in Athens killing 87 people. This incident caused some countries to cancel their participation in the games including Australia, Japan, and Italy. However, most countries continued with their programs as planned.
After the tragedy no one knew where the original Olympic flame was kept.
The Olympic torch is ignited at Olympia, Greece, some months before the Games. This event kicks off the Olympic torch relay, which formally concludes with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the Olympic Games' opening ceremony. However, if a city fails to meet the requirements set out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), they may be awarded the right to host the Olympics again. In such cases, the IOC will re-create the Olympic flame within that city's boundaries.
The word "torch" comes from the Greek words for fire and stick. It was originally used as a reference to the sacred fire kept by the ancient Greeks on Mount Olympus. The torch relay during the Modern Games represents both an acknowledgment of this connection and a demonstration of the commitment of these new games to cultural diversity. Each country who takes part in the relay can choose how it conducts itself; some countries may even keep the flame alight at certain points along the route. But no matter how it is done, the torch relay is meant to be a global celebration of sport and culture.
In 1896, when the Olympic Games were first held in Athens, all participants brought torches to light the way during the ceremonial opening procession. Since then, every participant country has been given the opportunity to take part in the torch relay.
Olympia The contemporary Olympics have included a blazing flame since 1928, however the custom dates back to the ancient Greek Games. As a result, the Olympic flame lighting ceremony, which was initially included as part of the torch relay for the 1936 Berlin Games, is now staged at the ancient Olympic site of Olympia in Greece. Organizers say they will use another location for the 2016 Games due to security concerns.
For the next two years, until the next Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, the fate of the Olympic flame was left in the hands of visitors to the venue. It was kept at Olympia while plans were made to bring it home at the end of its run. But when World War II broke out, all thoughts of removing it from Greece were abandoned. It remained there, under guard, until 1996 when Olympic organizers decided to burn it during the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Games.
The flame has been displayed at various locations across Greece during its stay there. In 2004, it was taken on a national tour called "The Paths of Hellas", which visited major cities throughout Greece.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, Chinese officials decided to keep the flame alight for three days, despite heavy rain that began to fall during this time. It had been expected that this would cause problems for infrastructure such as roads and power lines, but these appeared not to be affected.
The ancient Olympia flame-lighting ritual lasts less than an hour, yet it offers an opportunity for the modern world to reconnect with the Olympic Games of antiquity. The connection with Greece is maintained to this day. When Greek athletes bring home their country's flag at the end of each Olympics, they are returning home with a fragment of Olympus.
The modern version of the ceremony takes place every two years, on the anniversary of the closing ceremony of the last Olympic Games. It is held on the evening of the first Sunday in August, and features a dramatic display of fireworks and light shows. The flame is brought from Athens to the new site where it will be lit just before midnight. This year's ceremony will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2004, when Athens hosted the Games, an average of more than 100,000 people watched the ceremony live on television. Since 2008, the number has been limited to 50,000 due to security concerns after several attacks against the torchbearers in various countries around the world.
The modern version of the ceremony is a global celebration that attracts thousands of spectators. But the original version of the event, which took place every four years, was an entirely different story. Back then, only 80 people were able to see the flame burn during its first journey from Olympia to Athens.