The torch is a part of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Torch Relay and is one of the symbols of the coming events. Before every Olympic Games, a torch is prepared with a new, unique design. To find out more about the design of the torch for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, and the history of its creation, please visit the "Our torch" page.
The torch for the Olympic Torch Relay is an integral attribute of the events, starting from 1936 for the Olympic Summer Games and from 1952 for the Olympic Winter Games. History knows the name of the first torchbearer in the history of the Olympic Torch Relay. The first torchbearer was Greek student, Konstantinos Kondillis.
Like the Olympics, the Olympic torch lighting tradition also first appeared on Hellenic land. The ancient Greeks believed religiously that the flame was brought to the people by Prometheus, and gave the flame sacred characteristics. From a technical point of view, the lighting of the Olympic flame took place just as it does today.
The Olympic flame is lit by the sun's rays using a specially constructed mirror. Just as it was in ancient Olympia. But what can be done if it is cloudy on the lighting day? In this case, a flame is used which was lit in the same way during one of the rehearsals, which take place on the eve of the official ceremony.
Many people assume that during the Olympic Torch Relay, the torchbearers pass on the same torch to one another. In fact, the reality is rather different. It is not the torch that is passed on to the next torchbearer, but the flame itself. Each torchbearer is given their own torch. If they so wish, the torchbearers can then keep it for posterity.
During the staging of the Olympic Torch Relays, preceding the Olympic Games events, the very most diverse design of torches was applied, as a result of this, the torches turned out to be rather different from each other. For example, the Olympic Winter Games torch in Albertville had a length of just 41 cm. But after two years, a torch with a length of almost one and a half meters was prepared for the Games in Lillehamer.