Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Olympic torch is not a tradition dating to ancient Greece. The relay was invented by Carl Diem, a German who had been planning the 1916 Olympic Games at Berlin when they were canceled because of World War I.
Twenty years later, Diem returned, organizing the 1936 summer games under Hitler. Seeking to glamorize the games with an ancient aura, Diem staged the first lighting of the Olympic flame. When the torches were lit at Berlin, ostensibly to signify unity among nations, they carried the logo of the manufacturer, Krupp, the huge steel and munitions conglomerate that armed Germany for two world wars. It remains unclear whether Diem had Nazi sympathies.
The torch relay from Greece to the host country of the Olympic games didn't happen at the next Olympic games in 1948, but it was reintroduced in 1952 and has been continued at every Olympiad since then.
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