The sacred Olympic Torch Relay tells tales of humanity; for the Tokyo edition it will start from Fuk

by Arianna Lane marketing head

When Prometheus stole fire from the gods to gift it to humanity, he was punished. But from that time fire got a divine connotation.

In ancient Greece, when Olympics was held at Olympia a sacred fire was kept burning throughout the celebration. Ancient Olympics that historically began in 776 B.C was a part of Greek religious festival for Zeus who was the king of the gods in Mt Olympus.  During Olympics, along with the continuous burning of the sacred fire, there were additional fires that lit up the temple of Zeus and his wife Hera at Olympia.  

This Greek Pagan festival gradually diminished with the invasion of Romans in Greece. As the Roman rulers started to embrace Christianity they strongly condemned Pagan religion and this state took a massive turn as Theodosius became the Roman king. He legally abolished the festival at Olympia thus bringing an end to an immensely popular Greek socio-tradition.   

Almost after 1500 years, Olympics was reinstated in Greece with the term of Modern Olympics in 1896. But there was no Olympic flame in the first few editions of the Modern Games. It was in 1928 Amsterdam Olympics that the tradition of lighting up of Olympic flame was reintroduced. An employee of the Electric Utility of Amsterdam was invited to lit the flame in the Marathon Tower of Amsterdam.

In 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, this lighting up of the flame took place at the top of the gateway to the Olympic stadium. But on both the occasions the flame was lit just to have a significant beginning of the Games.

When Berlin got the Olympics right of 1936, Carl Diem- the German sports administrator under the Nazis innovated the idea of an Olympic Torch Relay. He suggested to start the relay from Olympia in Greece, thus to take back the flavour of Olympics to its birthplace. It was also included as a rule in the Olympic Charter where it states, “The Olympic flame is the flame which is kindled in Olympia under the authority of the IOC.”  

On 20th July 1936, amidst the ruins in front of the altar of Hera at Olympia, the Olympic flame was lit naturally from a parabolic mirror reflecting the bright sun rays. Greek runner Konstantinos Kondylis ran the first steps to carry the first Olympic torch in 1936 that travelled for 12 days to reach Berlin from Olympia.

Since then the Olympic Torch Relay has become a ritual in the Olympic tradition. It starts with the idyllic way of lighting up the torch from sun rays reflected on a mirror at Olympia by eleven women representing the Vestal Virgins dressed in archaic-style clothing. The torch tours around Greece and is then handed over from the prior Olympic city to the host city at Panathenaic Stadium at Athens.

The 2020 Olympic Flame Lighting ceremony is scheduled to be held on 12th March 2020. The Flame will be handed over to Tokyo Olympic Committee on 19th March 2020.It will arrive in Japan on 20th March 2020 and hence the Japanese leg of the relay will start on 26th March 2020 from Fukushima and will cover all 47 prefectures of Japan.

As the Olympic Torch Relay always represents humanity and celebrates life, Japan considers this edition’s flame as the Flame of Recovery. It is to show solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and tsunami affected areas specially Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima. Therefore this hope of light will be specially displayed in these areas from 20th March to 25th March 2020. 

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About Arianna Lane Advanced   marketing head

53 connections, 3 recommendations, 171 honor points.
Joined APSense since, February 22nd, 2019, From Utah, United States.

Created on Jan 1st 2020 06:15. Viewed 495 times.


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