This includes two facts, one about Nazi’s and another about planes.
The sacred tradition of the Olympic Torch, now ubiquitous with the opening ceremony and an amazing struggle from the ruins of Athens to the home nation, does not have the same rosy origin story as you’d expect.
The Olympic Torch ceremony began in 1936 for the Berlin Olympic Games, sold as an old Greek tradition, was an invention of the Nazi’s, acting as both propaganda and a homage to their love for old empires and lavish ceremonies.
In an article by the Atlantic, they wrote: “Beginning the relay in Greece and ending it roughly 1,500 miles away in Berlin reinforced the idea of a shared Aryan heritage between the ancient power and the new one. It also hinted at Hitler’s idea of a natural, civilizational progression from the Greek Empire to the Roman to the German. And the route happened to go through Czechoslovakia, where the stream of Nazi propaganda that surrounded it inspired some members of the ethnic German minority to clash with member [sic] of the Czech majority. Two years later, Hitler would invade and occupy part of Czechoslovakia, where he claimed the German minority was at risk.”
Hitler, however, had very little interest in the Olympics, believing it a creation of the Jews and Freemasons. Goebbels convinced him of its usefulness, stating: “German sport has only one task: to strengthen the character of the German people, imbuing it with the fighting spirit and steadfast camaraderie necessary in the struggle for its existence,”.
The memory of the torch now relinquishes the Nazi history that created it, yet still pervading the idea of it being a Greek tradition.
The Olympic Torch is the only live flame that is allowed to be transported by aeroplane. As it is classed as a ‘dangerous good’ it must be accompanied by a fire warden, someone who is forced to sit next to the flame for the entire plane trip, such as the 1,500-mile (2410km) flight from Athens to Cornwall.
To ensure that the flame makes the trip, it is transported in a specially designed miner’s lamp with enough oxygen and paraffin to make the trip.
And just in case it doesn’t it is accompanied by three! – backup flames.