History of Olympic Torch- Origin, Lighting and Relaying - Deepstash
History of Olympic Torch- Origin, Lighting and Relaying

History of Olympic Torch- Origin, Lighting and Relaying


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History of Olympic Torch- Origin, Lighting and Relaying

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The Olympic Torch

  • The Olympic torch is lit in the birthplace of the Olympics: Olympia, Greece.
  • It travels the globe through thousands of hands to finally reach the stadium.
  • The Olympic Games came into being in 776 BCE when the Greeks started recreational activities to take a break from war.
  • Spectators could travel safely during the games as there was a sacred truce of ‘no-war' while the mega-event was going on.


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Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, has an altar and temple of the Goddess of Birth And Marriage: Hera Delos.

The Olympic Torch was lit using a hollow mirror, known as the Skaphia. The flame is kept burning throughout the games to signify peace and purity.


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  • The games took a 1500 year hiatus, resulting in the halting of the lighting and relay of the Torch. 
  • The games restarted in 1896, and the tradition of the flame was restored in 1928. 
  • The torch relay was also resumed in 1936 under Hitler.


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For a few years, the Olympic Torch flame was lit in Norway instead of the original place, Olympia. Later, a rule was formed that an Olympic flame is only when it is kindled in Olympia, under the watch of the International Olympic Committee.


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Olympic torches represent the host country and are designed from scratch every four years. It is tested under harsh conditions, and the approved one then has thousands of replicas that are paraded across the world.

Various fuels have been burned up in the Olympic torches, like gunpowder, olive oil and various metals. Modern Olympics use a mixture of propane and butane.


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The Olympic torch travels by train, boats, cars, carts and even aeroplanes. It has gone in space three times and even underwater.

Special protocols are used to ensure safety during transporting the flame by air, by preserving it in a ‘miner’s lamp’ and policing it by trained firefighters throughout the journey.


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