LONDON, ENGLAND (Catholic Online) - The Olympic flame is an important symbol of the games and according to tradition it must remain perpetually lit. However, it was logistics, and not the notoriously inclement London weather that caused the flame to be extinguished.
Olympic officials felt it was time to move the Olympic cauldron for security reasons so they quickly planned the outage of the semi-eternal flame. In advance of the outage, a torch was lit to carry the flame while the cauldron was extinguished and moved.
Once in its new spot, Austin Playfoot, an elderly athlete who carried an Olympic torch both in the 1948 Olympics and the 2012 games, was unceremoniously lifted to the caldron in a cherry picker where he relit the flame.
In addition to security, the Olympic organizers have been under criticism for positioning the flame in such a way that it could not be seen by anyone outside of the stadium. The 2012 games are the first games in modern history where the Olympic flame could not be seen by anyone on the outside. The movement of the flame has corrected this oversight.
With the cauldron moved and the flame relit from the sparks of the original, organizers hope the flame will symbolize the spirit of the games in a place where more people can see it and be inspired by its beacon.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
3:25 PM dhm