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The Olympic Flame and the Torch Relay

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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. This 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). The flame is then 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. The flame is extinguished during the closing ceremony. A new Olympics torch is designed for each of the games.

The Sydney 2000 Torch
The Sydney 2000 torch was designed to represent Australia. Its design was inspired by the Sydney Opera House and the curves of a boomerang. The three layers of the torch represent earth, water, and fire. The outer layer is a glossy white painted finish; a fine Kevlar fabric is laid into the paint to provide a textured appearance similar to the tiles of the Sydney Opera House. This Olympic Torch was created by a team consisting of an artistic designer, a manufacturer, a combustion company and a team of University flame researchers.

The Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay
The Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay began in Greece on May 10, 2000 and travelled through Guam and 12 other Oceania countries before arriving at Uluru, Australia on June 8, 2000. The Sydney Torch Relay is the longest torch relay in Olympic history. The flame travels 16,500 miles (27,000 kilometres) in Australia, arriving at Sydney for the open ceremony on September 15, 2000. There are 11,000 torchbearers for the Sydney 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.

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