Five Facts About The Olympic Flame You May Not Know


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What is the Olympic flame for? Has it ever gone out? The Greek Herald gives you five facts about Olympic custom that you may not know.

There was no Olympic flame at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896

The Olympic torch in Berlin’s Lustgarten was lit on August 1, 1936 and guarded by members of the Hitler Youth until it was brought to the Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Games (Photo: AP)

The flame wasn’t introduced until the Amsterdam Games in 1928. Even then, the ceremony did not take place in ancient Olympia, but in Amsterdam. The opening ceremony took place at his birthplace at the Berlin Games in 1936.

The Olympic flame passed on the summit of Mount Everest

Chinese climbers brought the Olympic flame to the top of Mount Everest (© Getty Images)

The flame was passed on at the summit for the 2008 Beijing Games. The flame has also gone through the North Pole and underwater in the Great Barrier Reef. The flame was transmitted by satellite, a gondolier, steamboats, wagons, camels and horses.

The priestesses and high priestesses are selected from the Greek theater community

They are selected by the Greek Olympic Committee and its Torch Relay Committee. Pioneer Koula Pratsika became the first modern high priestess in 1936. Xanthi Georgiou lit the fire for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The flame burns during the games and goes out in the closing ceremony

If the flame goes out unexpectedly and very likely, several flames will be transported. A rainstorm smothered the flames at the 1976 Montreal Games. It is said that an officer first relighted the flame with a cigarette lighter before relighting the flame with a backup.

The flame represents the fire that Prometheus stole from Zeus and the ancient Olympic custom

It is said that the fire god Prometheus stole fire from Zeus to give to humanity. The ancient Greeks would honor this symbolism by burning the flame on the altar of Prytaneion in ancient Olympia during the ancient Olympic Games. It remains a tradition in modern games.

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