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The opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics featured the bright of the Olympic cauldron at the Tokyo Olympic stadion by tennis star Naomi Osaka. 

The Olympic cauldron to be lit through a torch, however the torch’s flame no simply produced by a lighter prior to the event. The Olympic flame travels ~ above a months-long journey wherein it’s brought by thousands, throughout what’s dubbed the Olympic torch relay, before reaching the opened Ceremony.

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From the torch relay to that gets to irradiate the cauldron and also more, right here is every little thing you have to know about the Olympic flame.

Where does the Olympic torch start?

A burning flame has been part of the modern-day Olympics because 1928, however the heritage goes all the means back to the old Games in Greece. So the Olympic flame lighting ceremony, i m sorry was an initial incorporated along with the torch relay because that the 1936 Berlin Games, is held at the ancient Olympic website of Olympia in Greece. 

At the ceremony, a parabolic mirror and the sun’s beam are used to ignite the Olympic flame. The flame is climate passed on come the an initial torchbearer the the Olympic torch relay.


This is usually done months in advancement of the Games, yet the flame for the Tokyo Olympics actually was created over a year ago. The bright ceremony was held on march 12, 2020, shortly prior to the gamings were officially postponed come 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. You have the right to watch it here.


What does the Olympic torch watch like?

The height of the Olympic torch for the 2020 gamings resembles a Japanese cherry blossom with 5 petal-shaped pieces where flames come out of. 


The torch is made the end of aluminum, with several of it gift recycled material from the temporary housing that was developed following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

How does the Olympic torch relay work?

The torch that an initial receives the Olympic flame won’t be the very same one that’s offered to light the Olympic cauldron. The fire is moved from one torch to another during the relay. 

The an initial torchbearer, traditionally a Greek athlete, attends the light ceremony to obtain the flame and also then delivers it come the 2nd torchbearer at the nearby monument because that Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the modern Games.

Has the Olympic torch ever gone out?

You might be wondering what happens if the flame goes out. Think it or not, it’s actually rare for that to happen. Yet lanterns include flames indigenous the bright ceremony are accessible during the relay if needed.


Who to be the first woman to be Olympic torchbearer?

A mrs was the first torchbearer because that the an initial time ever last year as soon as Anna Korakaki, a Greek shooting yellow medalist in the 2016 Rio Games, kicked turn off the Tokyo Olympic torch relay. Korakaki passed off the flame to Mizuki Noguchi, a Japanese marathon jogger who captured gold in the 2004 Olympics.


How has COVID-19 impacted the Olympic torch relay?

The relay would usually then continue throughout Greece complying with the lighting ceremony, yet on march 13 the nation canceled the rest of that is relay because of COVID-19 concerns. On march 20, the fire arrived in Japan via airplane. The Japan part of the relay was additionally suspended complying with the postponement the the Tokyo Games, and the fire was put on display screen at the Tokyo Olympic Museum in September.

On in march 26, 2021, the 121-day-long Japan foot of the relay obtained underway in Fukushima Prefecture, whereby members that Japan’s 2011 World-Cup win women’s football team were the first to lug the flame.

The flame journeyed to every of Japan’s 47 prefectures leading approximately the Games, however there were some cancellations and detours along the means due come COVID-19. Because that instance, almost the entire Tokyo portion of the relay was relocated off of windy streets.

Who it s okay to light the Olympic cauldron?

The final torchbearer, that lights the Olympic cauldron throughout the opening Ceremony, is generally a famed athlete, or athletes, native the organize country. 

But the isn’t always someone who is popular or also an Olympian for the matter. In ~ the 2012 London Games, 7 teenage athletes to be nominated by legend British Olympians to light the cauldron. 

The identification of the cauldron lighter is retained under wraps till the opening Ceremony, so us will need to wait until July 23 to find out that gets the honor at the Tokyo Olympics.


Who are noteworthy Olympic cauldron lighters?

Enriqueta Basilio, a mexico sprinter, came to be the an initial woman to irradiate the Olympic cauldron at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

History to be made in ~ the 1984 Los Angeles Games also when Rafer Johnson ended up being the first African American to light the cauldron. Johnson, a gold medalist in the decathlon, was additionally the very first African American to carry the United states flag during an opened Ceremony, law so in ~ the 1960 gamings in Rome.


Antonio Rebello had actually one the the more thrilling lightings at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The three-time Paralympic medalist in archery shoot a flaming arrowhead at the cauldron from nearly 200 feet away. It appeared to it is in a straight hit as the cauldron was collection aflame, however years later on it was revealed Rebello was told to shoot the arrowhead outside the stadium as a precaution. The cauldron was lit through remote regulate as the arrowhead flew over.

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Three-time civilization heavyweight champion and global icon Muhammad Ali was the final torchbearer because that the 1996 Olympics. Ali bright the cauldron in Atlanta, end a te after gift diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, is regarded as one of the best Olympic moments of all time.