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...
Torch Relay route: York to Hull
The London 2012 Olympic torch relay began on 19 May 2012 at Land's End.BBC Torch Relay route: York to Hull
Explore the BBC News map to find out where the torch is going in Yorkshire and Humberside.
Click on the web link below...
- John Inverdale
- Jane Birch