Now that we are about a week into the 2012 London Olympics with China edging USA 30-29 in the medal count as it stands now, I figured it is about time for an Olympics post. However, this post won’t be about any of the teams or athletes involved, but about the tradition of the carrying of the Olympic flame. The original history of the flame during the Olympic games comes from the belief that fire was stolen from the gods by Prometheus and then was left to burn for the entire duration of the games. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 games in Amsterdam. However, the torch relay that we are familiar with today was introduced for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Little history lesson out of the way, fast forward 76 years and we have the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The torch relay starts in Olympia, Greece and then travels to wherever the Olympics is being held that year. This year as it is being held in London, the torch relay traveled throughout the UK. Belfast, Northern Ireland is part of the UK and also the place where the scholarship program, Sport Changes Life, that brought me to Ireland was founded. Two people who I know very well now because of their huge influence on the Sport Changes Life program, Deirdre Brennan and Marc Mulholland, were among a select, honored few chosen to carry the torch through different parts of Northern Ireland. Unfortunately I was not in N.I. when Marc carried the torch, but I had the chance to be there when Deirdre ran through the streets with the flame, and I even got to hold the torch!
Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics and cheering on their respective countries. Good luck to all athletes competing! GO USA!!!!