The Olympic Torch – What It Symbolizes Today

Posted by Tom Locke on November 17th, 2009 filed in History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts

According to wikipedia, the Olympic Flame from the ancient games was reintroduced during the 1928 Games.  An employee of the Electric Utility of Amsterdam, lit the first Olympic flame in the Marathon Tower of the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.

The modern convention of moving the Olympic Flame via a relay system from Olympia to the Olympic venue began with the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin.  The relay, captured in Leni Riefenstahl’s film “Olympia”, was part of the Nazi propaganda machine’s attempt to add myth and mystique to Adolf Hitler’s regime.

Today the Olympic Torch Relay, a 100 day journey through Canada and carried by over 12,0000 Canadians, is recognized as a symbol of “peace, goodwill and athletic vigor”.  For me, it is somewhat comforting that the world has progressed in its perception of what the torch relay symbolizes by positively replacing an association with an unsettling time in history via the incorporation of enthusiastic, well meaning, torch bearing fabricators of nostalgia who are supported by today’s media.


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