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History: Relay, Winter Games

by Mark Hughes
Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympic Torch Relay began in 1964.

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Since 1964, the Winter Games have also had a torch relay starting in Olympia. Of the three immediately preceding Winter Games, two (1952 and 1960) had torch relays starting in the fireplace of skiing pioneer Sondre Norheim, and one (1956) had a relay starting in Rome. The 1984 Winter Games were preceded by two torch relays, one from Norheim's fireplace, and the other from Olympia. The plan had been to mingle the two flames, lighting the cauldron with the combination, but this was disallowed; instead, only the Greek flame was used.

Symbolism of Fire
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History: Relay, Summer Games
The modern use of the Olympic Flame began in 1936.
Themes of the Olympic Torch Relay
Each Olympic torch relay has had a theme to share with the world.
Criticisms and Protests
In 2008, protests by human rights groups disrupted the Olympic torch progression to Beijing.
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