The Olympic Flame and Torch Relay are essential to the Olympic Games. The torch is lit from the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia among the ruins at the site of the ancient games. The Flame is then handed over to the new host country and eventually, the journey ends as the last torchbearer lights the Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium of the host city.
The Torch Relay was revived at the Berlin Olympiad in 1936, and since then it has preceded every Summer Games. Some of the more memorable moments include Norma Enriqueta Basilio, who was the first woman to light the cauldron in 1968, Mohammed Ali, who served as the last torchbearer in 1996, and the controversy in 2008, when protesters tried to extinguish the flame to protest against the regime in China.
Here we look at the history of the Torch Relay and some key personalities who carried the flame as we look ahead to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games.