Olympic Torch Relay Generates Enthusiasm — Now and Then

Olympic Torch Relay Generates Enthusiasm — Now and Then

Olympic Torch Relay Generates Enthusiasm — Now and Then

Written by Sharon Cecil


olympic torch relayThe Olympic Torch Relay is a ceremonial event focused on the Olympic Flame traveling from Olympia, Greece, to the site of the Olympic Games via a torch from person to person until it reaches its destination.

This is the 31st Olympiad. The Torch Relay is coming to an end and the Summer Olympic Games will begin Friday, August 5, in Rio.

A lot of work goes into preparing for the Olympic Games.

For the athletes, it is a daily commitment to a rigid regime. Athletes do everything they can to excel in their field.  Reaching the Olympic Games is every athlete’s dream.  It requires an enormous amount of practice, skill and determination working with coaches and trainers as well as a rigorous schedule. Not to mention the financial investment!  There is no guarantee that any of this will mean they will be an Olympian.

Wherever the Olympic Games are located, there is an inordinate amount of planning, preparation and coordination.

It seems that there has been little coverage for this year’s Olympics in Rio and almost no coverage on the participants. Or it might seem that way because the 1996 Olympics holds a special place in my heart for a multitude of reasons.

20th Anniversary

In a New York Times Magazine article published SUNDAY, July 7, 1996: The Olympics; Atlanta Needs Flame! Notes From a Long Torch Trip “In 60 years of Olympic torch relays, never have so many carried fire so far.”

Being a torchbearer for the 1996 Summer Olympics, my husband and I attended several events before the actual arrival of the flame in Louisville, Kentucky.  At one event, we were able to meet Muhammad Ali.

During its journey, the flame was to cross the bridge from Indiana to Kentucky. The excitement was mounting on the evening of June 5th in Louisville, Kentucky as everyone waited with great anticipation for the arrival of the flame at the Riverfront Plaza-Belvedere.  There were some eventful moments.  But the flame arrived safely.

Muhammad Ali, Louisville native, lit the Cauldron 20 years ago during the opening ceremonies.

In an interview on WSBTV-Atlanta, Billy Payne, who headed Atlanta’s Olympic organizing committee said, “The Olympic movement is the only thing in the world that brings together so many people of diverse races, religions, ethnicities and economic statue. It’s such a celebration of sport. And who better to stand at the top of that mountain than Muhammad Ali, because that’s what he represented throughout his life,” The incredible UNTOLD story of Muhammad Ali and the 1996 Olympic Flame

LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited is born from the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.  Everyone can help IMPROVE IMPOVERISHED LIVES and provide HOPE to encourage the POWER of Dreams.

WorldIlluminatedStep out to illuminate the world by displaying a Light of Hope wherever you are on November 5, 2016, at 6pm Eastern Time.  It can be a porch light, candle, cell phone, or flashlight. Join others around the world in celebrating the LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited movement!