Themes of the Olympic Torch Relay

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
by Mark Hughes

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Each Olympic torch relay has had a theme to share with the world. Notable themes have been:

Symbolism of Fire
Fire has had a very significant role in humanity's development.
History: Relay, Summer Games
The modern use of the Olympic Flame began in 1936.
Criticisms and Protests
In 2008, protests by human rights groups disrupted the Olympic torch progression to Beijing.
History: Relay, Winter Games
Since 1964, the Winter Games have also had a torch relay starting in Olympia.
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