The ancient Greeks believed that fire was given to humankind by Prometheus , and considered fire to have sacred qualities. Mirrors were used to focus the sun's rays to ignite flames that would burn perpetually in front of Greek temples. Greek rituals also included torch relays, although this was not actually part of the Olympic Games. The flame emphasizes the connection between the ancient games and the modern ones. In the past, a high priestess of the Temple of Hera would light the flame using a skaphia, the ancestor of parabolic mirrors.
5h. The Olympic Games
History of the Olympic Torch, Flame, and Relay
The revival of the ancient Olympic Games. The 19th century saw the taste for physical exercises revive everywhere At the same time the great inventions, the railways and the telegraph have abridged distances and mankind has come to live a new existence; the peoples have intermingled, they have learned to know each other better and immediately they started to compare themselves. What one achieved the other immediately wished also to endeavour: universal exhibitions brought together to one locality of the globe the products of the most distant lands; Literary or scientific congresses have brought together, into contact, the various intellectual forces. How then should the athletes not seek to meet, since rivalry is the basis of athletics, and in reality the very reason of its existence? In order to unify the athletic events that were popular in various countries and the transformation of the notion of rivalry into noble competition, free from the notion of profit, it was decided to make:. To do this was to revive the Olympic Games: the name imposed itself: it was not even possible to find another.
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The PyeongChang Winter Games and the Ancient Olympic Spirit
When did the ancient games begin and when did they end? Legends obscure the origins of the games, so placing any certain date on the start of the contest is impossible. Even our earliest sources hold the festival in the highest regard, suggesting the games were quite ancient.
In B. E, about three thousand years ago, the first Olympic Games took place. Originally, the games were part of a religious festival to honor Zeus. He was the god of the sky and the leader of the Greek gods who lived on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. The Olympics was one of four all-Greek Pan Hellenic games.