THE Olympic games in Tokyo has unofficially started, but now things are about to get real – with the opening ceremony due to take place today.
No spectators at all will be allowed due to rising Covid rates in Japan.
But one thing that will not change from previous years is the Olympic flame will remain burning throughout.
What is the Olympic flame for?
The Olympic flame represents continuity between the Ancient Greek Olympics and the modern Olympics.
It was introduced by architect Jan Wils, who designed the stadium for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
During the Greek games, a sacred fire was kept burning throughout the event.
Greek mythology stated that the fire had been stolen from the Gods by Prometheus.
Every Olympic year, the flame is ignited at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece, before a torch relay takes it to various sites designated by the Olympic Committee before arrival at the Olympic host city.
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Has the Olympic flame ever gone out during the Games?
The Olympic flame has gone out on a number of occasions.
In Montreal in 1976, it was extinguished due to torrential rain.
And in 2004, in Athens’ old Olympic stadium the flame was blown out by strong wind.
In 2008, “technical issues” saw the flame go out in Beijing and in 2012 the flame went out in London on a boat.
Finally, in a relay for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2013, it went out in Red Square, Moscow.