Olympic torch passed on to Berlin

30th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 June 2004 , BERLIN - The Olympic torch was passed on to Berlin, site of the controversial 1936 Olympics, on Wednesday as it continued its 78,000 kilometre relay around the world on its way towards the 13 August opening ceremony of the 2004 Games in Athens. The torch relay, in which a lighted torch is carried from Olympia to the site of the current Games was introduced for the first time at the 1936 Berlin Games. The flame burned brightly at the German capital's Olympic stadium in ceremonies which also c

30 June 2004

BERLIN - The Olympic torch was passed on to Berlin, site of the controversial 1936 Olympics, on Wednesday as it continued its 78,000 kilometre relay around the world on its way towards the 13 August opening ceremony of the 2004 Games in Athens.

The torch relay, in which a lighted torch is carried from Olympia to the site of the current Games was introduced for the first time at the 1936 Berlin Games.

The flame burned brightly at the German capital's Olympic stadium in ceremonies which also capped the end of four years of renovation work costing more than EUR 300 million.

The torch is to be carried on a 50-kilometre relay through Berlin's streets by 132 prominent personalities, with German Interior Minister Otto Schily saying "it is a very beautiful day for Berlin in one of the most beautiful stadiums in Germany".

The Olympic torch festivities will culminate in a night-time party at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate.

The 1936 Olympic Games are regarded by many sports historians as the first major international sports event which became a stage for political propaganda, as well as the subject of a masterpiece film documentary, Leni Riefenstahl's "Olympia".

The Nazi regime of dictator Adolf Hitler sought to propound their ideology of Aryan racial supremacy with the Games, but were embarrassed when US star Jesse Owens, an Afro-American, won four gold medals on a single day.

Hitler, who witnessed the feat, notoriously left the stadium so as to avoid having to congratulate Owens personally although Owens German rival in the long jump competition, Luz Long, publicly befriended him in front of the Nazis.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article