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Olympic Torch Relay


Guest ryan04

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Just wondering what people think of the Olympic Torch Relays that go on in the (usually around) two months leading up to the Games.  

Has anyone ever seen the event live?  Carried the Flame?

Is it just a marketing ploy to hype the Games, or is it full of deeper meaning, involving tens of thousands more who couldn't otherwise see the Games themselves?

What about the marketing aspects?  Too much from sponsors?  

I'm interested to hear what this community has to say on the matter.

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It feels unique to be the only person on earth that for 2-3 minutes holds the Olympic Flame.

It's a way to pass the message of the Games to all over the host country, and definately they should go on.

As for the international torch relays, I think Greece should keep the right to organize them.

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I've seen two torch relays, Sydney's and Athen's, and I can guarantee you they are certainly one of the most important symbolic aspects of the Olympics. In the case of Sydney's games, the 100 day relay really brought millions of Aussies closer to the 2000 Olympics, even if they lived thousands of kilometres away from Sydney. It was very much a unifying symbol of what the Olympics meant to all Australians (check out this ABC Sound Byte for some idea.

PYRROS2004 Posted on July 07 2005,15:20

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As for the international torch relays, I think Greece should keep the right to organize them.

Why should the Greek NOC have any right to run by itself a torch relay outside of Greece, when Greece isn't hosting the Olympics? If you want to justify it on propertial rights on the torch relay concept, then Germany's NOK should be the one because it was Dr Carl Deihm, Berlin 36 President who first organised a torch relay during the modern era. And why should Beijing or Turin or Vancouver or London let their OCOG have the management of the torch relay taken off them outside Greece? Pyrros, the torch relay within every country's boundaries should be organised by the local NOC and the OCOG for those games, and whilst ATHOC created a unique experience for the 2004 international torch relay, they had to rely on local cooperation and management everywhere the flame went.

Got to admit...I'm just a little green with envy you've actually held a torch. Would love to have done that....

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I mean only when Greece hosts the Games should be an international torch relay (and maybe when we celebrate the 100s). The other host countries could have a smaller relay if they want, but the global should be organized when Greece hosts the Games.
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I mean only when Greece hosts the Games should be an international torch relay (and maybe when we celebrate the 100s). The other host countries could have a smaller relay if they want, but the global should be organized when Greece hosts the Games.

But why Pyrros? Why can't London organize a global relay in 2012, going to places that the Athens 2004 relay didn't? Or Beijing in 2008? If in the long term future Greece runs another Olympics, summer or winter, sure...let it do what it wants with a domestic or international relay. But if another OCOG is organising a games and a torch relay, it doesn't have to answer or submit to the Greek NOC to do any aspect of the relay outside of Greece itself.

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I personally love the torch relay, having seen one myself (Atlanta 1996).  I think its a great way to get people involved and into the event, not to mention the more symbolic elements of the relay.  I know I myself would love to carry the torch one day, and I'm sure there are others here who feel that way too.
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I saw the flame in Munich last year. It was soooo impressive. Over 30000 people cheering the fire at Mariensquareand 3000 at the kick-off at Olympic Stadium. Loads of people stood along the road waving with flaggs. I met two Greeks there - both carried the torch later- really nice people. Both came just because of the relay to Germany. One day later, they went to Berlin, cheering the flame there. In December, I got a christmas letter with a picture, that showed the one carrying the flame.
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why should Vancouver's be global, its the winter olympics not many nations take part so its pointless

No one is saying that Vancouver's (or anyone else's) torch relay should be global; in fact VANOC should as you imply Faster do things their own way and focus perhaps domestically.

The Athens global torch relay was a great concept that functioned exceedingly well, and in the context of that achievement perhaps it could and should be left at that. I'm not saying it is now passe, but a multinational torch relay has been done. For all future hosts the juggling act will be what sort of commercial and emotional support can they garner for their games at the domestic level from a torch relay.

By the way, is anyone even remotely interested in the global Queen's Baton relay for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games? Whilst not a copy of the Athens relay, it shares many of the same features....

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From what I seen, eusebius65, it looks like I'm just talking to myself, when it came to the Melbourne 2006 baton relay. Besides, didn't the IOC rule out any notion of a "global relay" or was it just "shelved" for now?
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From what I seen, eusebius65, it looks like I'm just talking to myself, when it came to the Melbourne 2006 baton relay. Besides, didn't the IOC rule out any notion of a "global relay" or was it just "shelved" for now?

I must admit Guardian I haven't seen much of your posts re the 2006 baton relay, and to be honest like most folk in Melbourne (I was there most of last week) both the general response and feeling seems to be 'so what' not just about the relay but also about next year's CGs. It's a shame, but I guess that's how much ennui has set in about Melbourne's commonwealth games.

As for the IOC placing any restrictions against global relays, I've not heard anything about that. As far as I am aware the torch relay is designed and organised by the relevant OCOG, taken to the IOC for approval, and then as it is mounted when it is in the non-domestic area which falls under the responsibility of another NOC that country's NOC will assist. Hence ATHOC having to work with NOK in Germany, AOC in Australia, BOA in the UK, USOC in USA etc etc.

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So far it's becoming the standard for summer games hosts to have a global relay, but winter games hosts are still doing just national.

Pyrros, don't get your panties into a bunch with your pro-Greece chatter about not letting anybody else have a global torch relay.

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There is no meaning to have a global torch relay in Beijing (I bet that London will do a commonwealth torch relay).

Athens had to do it.

1) The Olympics returned to Greece

2) It's pointless to have a torch relay just inside Greece. I mean it takes just 3 hours from Ancient Olympia to arrive in Athens. Even more it would take 3-4 days to take the flame around Greece.

3) When they first planned the relay they wanted to visit 70+ countries. Including areas that have war or are unstable. (Imagine if UK or US were organizing the games, and they wanted to pass the flame from Iraq or Afghanistan  :unclesam: ) Due to the cost they ended up with the former host cities and a number of important cities around (like Kiev, Istanbul, Sofia and Nicosia at the last leg of the relay).

4) An international torch relay has already been organized for the 1996 Games - but guess what, no one remembers it-.

5) The cost is high, the timing must be accurate, so I don't think that other cities will try to do it.

Of course everyone is welcomed to have an international torch relay, but the next time (in 100+ years) that Greece will host the Games the future Greeks  must find something else. (Damn it! The Inter-galactic torch relay is taken!), maybe to light the torch from the sun itself?

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While I'm disappointed by the commercial aspect of the relay, I've always found the torch relay to be a moving experience, especially for those unable to attend the Games themselves.

I was lucky enough to see the flame in person on its way to Atlanta for the 1996 Games (it came through Newton, then my hometown, I moved from there this past April), and Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics (as it came through Wichita), and I can remember just being a couple of feet away from the flame as it came into view. That was stirring stuff. I know there are a number of you who will say, "What's the big deal? It's just a fire!" Try telling that to those who have seen it in person either on the relay or at the Games themselves.

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While I'm disappointed by the commercial aspect of the relay, I've always found the torch relay to be a moving experience, especially for those unable to attend the Games themselves.

I was lucky enough to see the flame in person on its way to Atlanta for the 1996 Games (it came through Newton, then my hometown, I moved from there this past April), and Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics (as it came through Wichita), and I can remember just being a couple of feet away from the flame as it came into view. That was stirring stuff. I know there are a number of you who will say, "What's the big deal? It's just a fire!" Try telling that to those who have seen it in person either on the relay or at the Games themselves.

I've seen it 5x, and for one special moment, it feels special.  But after that, it's "...OK; that was just a flame."  :rolleyes:

The secret is to look into the eyes and soul of the bearer.

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