History of the Olympic torch
The flame dates back to the ancient games. Each games would begin with the lighting of the flame.BBC News: Torch Relay
* Once lit the flame was taken around ancient Greece. It signalled a truce and peace in any on-going conflicts for the period of the games.
* The flame is still lit in a similar manner. A parabolic mirror reflects the rays of the sun on to the torch.
* The ceremony takes place at Olympia, the site of the ancient games. It takes place on the alter of the goddess Hera.
* The flame commemorates the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus.
* The flame was first re-introduced to the modern games in 1928.
* The Olympic Torch Relay dates from the 1936 Berlin Games. The flame is lit in a precise ritual in Olympia in Greece. Subsequently, it makes a short journey around Greece before being passed into the hands of the host city.
* Runners called ‘torchbearers’ pass the flame on until it reaches the cauldron at the host’s main Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony.
* The Olympic flame burns until the end of the Games.
Feature: Olympic torch design
Although harking back to ancient times, the Olympic torch relay is a modern phenomenon which began in 1936.BBC News: Olympic torch design
For each Olympic Games, a new torch is designed to carry the flame on a journey to the host city.
Read an article about the history of the torch designs on the BBC website below...
Jack Charlton to carry Olympic torch in Newcastle
Football legend Jack Charlton will carry the Olympic flame in the centre of Newcastle on day 28 of the torch relay.BBC News: Jack Charlton to carry Olympic torch in Newcastle
The 1966 World Cup winner, who is 77 and from Ashington, is one of 141 torchbearers carrying the flame on the leg from Alnwick.
Later, the torch will fly by zip wire from the Tyne Bridge in the hands of adventurer Bear Grylls.
Friday's evening celebration takes place at the Quayside.
Read the full story on the BBC Tyne and Wear website below.
In pictures: Torch Relay in the North East
The Torch Relay is making its way through the North East of England.BBC News: In pictures: Torch Relay
See a photo gallery of pictures showing the Olympic Torch Relay in the region on the BBC News website below...
Feature: Olympic torch fact file
* Designed by Barber Osgerby.
* It is made of an aluminium alloy
8,000 holes in two layers.
* Contains propane-butane burner
80cm tall, 10cm wide at top, 4.5cm wide at base.
* The torch is coated in gold or titanium nitride.
* Eight thousand to be made in the UK.
* The torch will flame from the crown and sides of its top.
Source: BBC News
- Carol Malia
- Jonathan Edwards
- Julie Stewart