The Olympic Flame: No Smoke, Just Mirrors
With the games coming to an end, we will all be left with great memories. Athletes will return home with their treasures and hopes of returning to the next Winter Games. The closing ceremonies are now upon us as we reflect on the past two weeks. The Olympic flame will be extinguished and it will all come to an end. However, have you ever wondered why there is a flame in the Olympics? Where did this idea come from? Upon planning our Lakeside Games, we learned about the Olympic flame and how it has evolved.
Back to Greece
The origins of the Olympic Games can be traced back to Greece. The flame can be traced back just as far. At the beginning of the games in ancient Greece a flame was lit to symbolize Greek heroes from death to rebirth. Even at this time the flame was left to burn throughout the duration of the games.
Though the flame has been around since the games in ancient Greece the torch has only been around for the past 78 years. The first torch was lit and carried in relay fashion at the 1936 games in Germany. At the beginning of each Olympics a new flame is lit in Greece in the ancient Olympic stadium.
Fire and Mirrors
Most of us might be imagining the flame being lit with a flick of a match like we would light a candle at home but it’s actually a bit more complicated. The flame actually uses a parabolic mirror which has a curved surface. The curvature in the mirror focuses the rays from the sun to a single point creating the heat. When the last carrier of the torch proceeds to light the flame, the heat from the sun helps to ignite the torch. Who knew?
Just like the games in Sochi the Lakeside Games must now come to an end. Our athletes trained and battled for the gold at each and every game. We are proud to have such amazing athletes at Lakeside and can’t wait for the next games.
Our Olympic flame was lit at our opening ceremonies and now must be extinguished at the conclusion of our closing ceremonies.
Thank you to all of our talented athletes and everyone who came to cheer them on at the events. That’s it from Winter #LakesideGames. We will see you in four years!