The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Saturday, 14 August 2004

Kudos To The Organisers

Last night's opening ceremony, for the Olympics 2004, thankfully went without a hitch or unpleasant incident.

The story of Greece, both historical and mythological, was re-enacted in tableau form; against the backdrop of the Olympic stadium, which had been flooded with water.

My compliments to the organisers.

One interesting point, which I have only just come across, is that the torch ceremony of lighting the Olympic cauldron is not an ancient ritual stemming from the original Olympic Games.

It seems that the ancient Greeks opened their games by heralds, not fire. This ritual was in fact created by Hitler, during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Even the Rings, much beloved symbol of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), aren't what they seem to be.

They were designed in 1913 by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the IOC, for the 1916 Olympics. These Games were not held, as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria started World War I.

The resurrection of the Rings fell to Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's official film maker. In order to give some "historical backdrop" for her film "Olympia, which chronicled the 1936 Olympic Games, Riefenstahl had the Rings carved into a stone altar in the Greek city of Delphi. This was meant to give some backing to Hitler's crackpot theories about Aryan links to the gods etc.

So much for ancient symbolism!

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