Evolution of the Olympic Torch

Evolution of the Olympic Torch - Ancient Greece to Beijing
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Sometimes the Olympic torch is extinguished during the international relaybut never the Olympic flame.

In these instances, the torch is relit using backup flames kept in miner's lanterns (such as the one pictured at top left on April 7, 2008, in Beijing). This ensures that the flame lit at Olympia is the same one that ignites the Olympic cauldron in the host city.

These lanterns also allow the flame to travel by air, which it's been doing since the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics.

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—Photograph by Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images
 
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