Evolution of the Olympic Torch

Evolution of the Olympic Torch - Ancient Greece to Beijing
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At Olympia, Greece, actress Theodora Siarkou passes the Olympic flame to pole vaulter Costas Filippidis during the lighting ceremony for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics.

The Turin Olympic torch was the first in which the flame enveloped, rather than just flickered above, the top of the torch—thanks to perforations in the outer skin.

By burning propylene and butane, the torch was also a bit brighter—and sootier. It's the soot that glows and makes the flame visible, engineer Richard Kelso said.

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—Photograph by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images
 
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