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The Olympic Flame

The origin of the Olympic Flame dates back to ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks considered fire divine and lit a flame at Olympia where the ancient Olympic Games took place. The flame used to burn throughout the celebrations.

The tradition continues in modern times. A new flame is lit using a parabolic mirror to focus the rays of the Sun at the ancient Olympic Stadium in Olympia, Elis, Greece. The Flame is then transported to the host city where the last runner lights the large Olympic Cauldron. It burns throughout the Games. The Flame is extinguished during the closing ceremony. The Olympic Flame was first lit during the opening ceremony of the IX Olympic Games at Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1928.

The first Olympic Torch Relay occurred at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.

2016 Summer Olympics

After completing its Greek phase, which is from Olympia to Athens, the torch relay will head to Brazil where the process would kick-start on May 3, 2016. But before reaching Brazil, the torch relay would also visit Switzerland and Colombia. The Brazilian phase will start from the capital city Brasilia and would finally culminate in Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, the torch relay would visit more than 300 cities, including all the state capitals and the Federal District.


Last Updated : May 2, 2016