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The Olympic Flame
and the Torch Relay

Olympics flame For each Olympics, a new flame is started in the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Elis, Greece, using a parabolic mirror to focus the rays of the sun.

The Olympics flame begins its Olympic Torch Relay by touring Greece. The flame is then taken to the country where the games will be held (usually by airplane). Following that, the flame is carried around the country where the games are to be held, using a series of torches carried by people running, walking, riding horses and camels, scuba diving, and using other means of human conveyance. The last runner uses a torch to light the large Olympic torch which burns throughout the games (this occurs during the opening ceremony of the Olympics).

The Olympics flame is extinguished during the closing ceremony. A new Olympics torch is designed for each of the Olympic Games.

History of the Torch
The tradition of the Olympic flame began during the ancient Olympic Games, over 2700 years ago in Greece. A flame was lit for each Olympics, every four years, and burned throughout the games. The flame symbolized the death and rebirth of Greek heroes.

There was no torch relay in the ancient Olympics. The torch relay began at the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany.


1. How is the Olympic flame started?________________________________________

2. Where does the Olympic flame begin the Olympic Torch Relay? ________________________________________

3. What does the flame symbolize? __________________________________________________________

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