|The Olympic Fire
The most significant and striking of the ceremonial
aspects connected with the Olympic Games is the Olympic Fire. Ignited during
the opening ceremony, it burns day and night at the Olympic Stadium and
other scenes of competition during the period of the Games. Only when the
Olympic Flag is lowered at the end of the closing ceremony is the Fire
extinguished. At the Olympic Games of 1928 Amsterdam and at the Los Angeles
Festival in 1932 the Olympic Fire burned at the top of a pillar extending
above the Stadium. The Americans utlized natural gas as fuel, this being
obtained from wells in the immediate vicinity of the centres of competition.
The Olympic flame is first used during the
modern era. The flame is kindled in Amsterdam, Netherlands and burns at
the entrance of the main stadium throughout the duration of the Games of
the IXth Olympiad.
The Flame is kindled in Los Angeles and burns
atop the Coliseum throughout the Games. This is the last time that an Olympic
flame is kindled at the site on the Games.
The IOC ratifies a flame relay from Olympia,
Greece, site of the ancient Games, to the site of the fost city.
from 1972 !!!
Lemcke, Peter Wolf
||Friedrich Krupp AG
|Date of the torch relay:
July - 1. August 1936
|Numbers of runners:
|Name of last runner:
The Torch Relay Run from Olympia to Berlin
Through the organization of the Olympic Torch
Relay Run the Eleventh Olympic Games were introduced in a manner which
in its impressiveness and significance could scarcely have been surpassed.
For the first time in the history of the modern Games the Olympic Fire
was ignited with a flame borne directly from the sanctuary of the ancient
Festival. At its meeting in May, 1934 in Athens, the International Olympic
Committee approved the proposal of the Secretary-General of the Organizing
Committee to have this flame carried by relay runners from Olympia to Berlin.
The National Olympic Committee of Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary,
Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany - the seven countries through which
the flame would be carried - were in complete favour of this projekt and
gladly cooperated in preparing for it.
The entire course was dividet into stretches
of 1,000 metres, and each of these was covered by a runner, who then passed
the Olympic Fire to his successor. The Organizing Committee estimated that
an average time of 5 minutes would be required for each 1,000 metres, and
the National Olympic Commttees of the fifferent countries were authorized
to make special provisions such as increasing the stretches in thinly populated
sections or allowing more times for traversing difficult districts.
None of the torches on the market at that
time answered the requirements. Although a new torch would be ignited by
each runner, the fact had to be taken into consideration that in case of
an emergency a runner might be required to carry the same torch over a
double stretch. It was therefore necessary to divise torches which would
burn 10 minutes and which would not be affected by heat, rain, storms or
falls. A magnesium torch was created which contained two fuses so that
even should the burning part fall from the torch, the fuses would continue
to glow and re-ignite it. The torches were encased in a reinforced covering
in order to give them the required durability. The length of the torch
including a cone-formed grip was 27.7 inches, its diameter 1.15 inches
and its weight 1.5 pounds. The top of the torch consisted of a special
inflammable substance so that it could be rapidly ignited when the flame
was transferred from runner to runner.
The Organizing Committee presented a specially
designed holder to each participant as a souvenir of the Torch Relay Run,
this being designed by the sculptor who created the Olympic Bell, Herr
Lemcke. The route over which the Olympic Fire was carried from Olympia
to Berlin was engraved on the grip of the holder, and the Krupp Firm in
Essen generously contributed a sufficient number of these in polished,
stainless steel. The words, "In gratitude to the bearer," were also engraved
on the holder.
Its entire length was 10.4 inches and its
weight 1 pound. The torches, which contained a wooden grip at the lower
end, could be fitted firmly into these holders. The plate at the tip of
the holder protected the runner from flames which might be whipped by the
wind. Holders and a special certificate for each runner and organizing
manager were despatched to the National Olympic Committee in March, 1936.
A special commemoration diploma was designed
for the participants in the Olympic torch relay run from Olympia to Berlin,
this being created by the Berlin painter and graphic artist, Hönig.
His design revealed the fire altar and Olympic rings in yellow-brown tones
with the eagle as a background and the Olympic Bell in colourless embossing.
Each certificate contained the facsimile signature of the President of
the Organizing Committee and was inscribed with the name of the participant.
The relationship between this torch relay run of the modern Olympic Games
and the ancient festival was expressed in the brochures published in connection
with this event, these being designed in an especially artistic manner.
The reproduction of a Hellenic relief from the Palazzo Colonna in Rome
was utilized for the cover, this having been generously permitted by the
Prince of Colonna. The relief, which depicts two Erotes as torch bearers,
was used by the creator of the Olympic Bell, Walter E. Lemcke, as the basis
of his design.
(Source document: Official
Report 1936, Vol. 1, page 126, 512)
12 th Olympiad, the games did not take place because WW II
13 th Olympiad, the games did not take place because WW II