It is an honor that was given to a 12-year-old schoolgirl and a crown prince.
Since the tradition began 85 years ago, torchbearers around the world have helped carry a symbolic flame from Olympia, Greece, to the international city that hosts the Olympic Games, making it the ultimate world relay.
Celebrities including Harry potter‘s Rupert grint and Star Trek‘s Patrick stewart escorted the light on part of its journey. But a last torchbearer sets fire to the Olympic cauldron, which ignites the opening ceremony and pays tribute to the origin of the global event.
The tradition began in ancient Greece, where they honored the gods by lighting a flame at the altar. The flame was first introduced in the modern Olympics at the Amsterdam event of 1928, although the relay began in 1936 with 3,000 runners passing the torch to Nazi Germany for the Berlin games. .
For this year’s Tokyo Olympics, about 10,000 relay participants carried the torch (designed to resemble a cherry blossom) to Tokyo, uniting under the theme “Hope Lights Our Way,” according to NBC.
At the opening ceremony on Friday July 23, the tennis star Naomi Osaka kicked off by igniting the cauldron, which was brought to life using hydrogen to offset carbon emissions.