What Does the Olympic Flame Symbolize?


Quick Answer

The Olympic flame symbolizes the fire that was stolen from the ancient Greek god Zeus by Prometheus. In ancient Greece, a flame was kept burning throughout the early Olympic Games. In modern times, the flame first appeared at the Olympic Games in 1928.

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Full Answer

The modern Olympic flame symbolizes various things, but it most notably stands for purity and the effort towards perfection. However, it has not always been part of the Olympics. The Olympic torch relay is an even more modern tradition that started at the 1936 Olympics. The torch is lit at an ancient Greek site using the sun and a curved mirror, after which it moves from Greece to several sites around the world before it arrives at the site of the Olympic games to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

Typically, the flame is carried by runners during the torch relay. However, there are many other interesting means of transporting it, including on a boat and an aircraft. Some legends hold that the Olympic flame has been burning since ancient Greek times, but this is not the case. It is actually lit several months before the official opening ceremony of the Olympic games. Some people say that the flame never goes out as a way to express the life and enduring spirit of the games.

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