Home » Galleries » Ancient Olympics

Lighting the Flame: ‘Spirit’ of the Olympics

The Olympic Flame represents the "Spirit" of the Olympic Games.

The Games, created by the Ancient Greeks and now belonging to the entire humanity, express the noblest ideals of the human spirit.

They were organized for the first time in 776 BC in ancient Olympia, having as first competition the "stadium," namely a 200-metre dash.

In time, 23 other competitions were added and the Games gradually developed from a simple athletic event into a mental and spiritual creation and into a place for displaying virtue, morals, mental and spiritual cultivation.

The apex of these morals is the concept of "truce", namely the suspension of hostilities for the unhindered conduct of the games and noble emulation far from wars, vanity, ideological contradictions and racial hatred.

The Olympic Games were revived in modern times, in 1896, by French Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the fist contemporary Olympic Games took place in the same year in Athens.

In 2004, when the Olympic Games were held in Athens, the Olympic Flame was lit at Ancient Olympia, and traveled around the globe – as always – before this time returning once again in Greece, at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, to mark the commencement of the event.

The flame for the 2004 Olympics was lit on the March 25th, date of the National Day of Greece as well as of the beginning of the first modern Olympics in 1896.

Olympic Flame