Tuesday, 31 July 2012
The Olympic flame is a symbol of the spirit of brotherhood among all people. Every four years, a few months before the Games, a fire is lit near the ruins of an ancient temple in Olympia, Greece, using the sun and a mirror. A torch is ignited from this fire, and then a team of athletes from many different countries relay the flame to the place where the Olympics will take place that year. The athletes who carry the flame are called torchbearers. The flame can be transported by bicycle, car, train, boat, or plane. Otherwise, it is passed from hand to hand by runners on foot every kilometre until it reaches the Olympic stadium in the host city. There it is used to light the cauldron that will burn for the duration of the Games. It is a great honour to be the final torchbearer, who is usually a citizen of the host country.