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Why Is There a Torch Relay?
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16:33, July 11, 2008

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In recollection of the origins of the Olympic Games, the flame is lit in Olympia, Greece, some months before the opening of the Games. It is then carried by relay from Olympia to the host city of the Games.

The Olympic flame is one of the best-known features of the Games. From the moment the flame is lit to the moment it goes out, a very precise ritual is laid down :

The lighting
In memory of the Olympic Games' origins, the flame is lit in Olympia, Greece, some months before the opening of the Games. The Olympic flame can only be lit by the sun's rays.

The relay route

Carried by relay from Olympia to the host city of the Games, the flame crosses different regions, countries and continents. The passage of the flame announces the upcoming Olympic Games to the inhabitants along the route and allows those following its journey to discover their culture and customs. The torch relay invites discovery, stimulates curiosity and a desire to open up to others.

Arrival at the stadium

The day of the opening of the Games, the flame enters the stadium. With the lighting of the cauldron by the last relay runner the flame is transferred from the torch to the place where it will continue to burn for the entire length of the Games. The flame is extinguished on the final day of the Games at the closing ceremony.

Source: www.olympic.org



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