Olympic Athletes Take Home the Gold

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It was a chilling night in Pyeongchang, South Korea as the official Olympic flag was handed from Pyeongchang mayor Shim Jae-Guk back to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach during the 2018 Olympic Closing Ceremony. This changing of the guard signaled the official end of the South Korean Winter Olympics and the beginning of preparation for the winter olympics for Beijing, China. One of the first traditions Beijing must participate in is the Olympic Torch Relay.

 

The idea of an olympic torch relay is simple. The olympic torch is lit at the home of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. It then travels throughout the world with people handing it off in a relay until it reaches the housing city of that year’s olympics whether it be winter or summer. Then at the olympic stadium in the housing city a cauldron is lit until the olympics end. Then the flame is extinguished until the next olympics end.

 

The flame relay is actually not a part of ancient tradition but that of recent incorporation. At the 1936 Olympic Games hosted by Berlin, Germany, Carl Diem brought this new tradition in as a way to connect the ancient games to the games of now. The flame travelled over 3,187 kilometers in it’s inaugural season.

 

Cities hosting the games now are tasked with trying to provide a route for the torch that will create a feeling of world wide unity. The torch has been to all corners of our world as a consequence. In 2014 the torch for the Sochi Games was even taken into outer space! Now the only question is where has the torch not gone.