Olympic Torch 2012 - Bangor Support Bus
he Olympic Torch Relay has arrived in Northern Ireland. On Sunday 3 June 2012 it was here in my hometown Bangor Co Down Northern Ireland. Just before 7am on a cool overcast Sunday morning and the town was packed with people wanting to share in this historic moment. Cheers rang out along with applause as the Torch was caried throughout the town.
The present torch is designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby (BarberOsgerby) for the 2012 London Games. Despite a deeply cynical response to the logo and mascots of the London Games, this torch design appears to have been well accepted in the UK and internationally.
The fuel used for the torch has varied. Early torches used solid or liquid fuels, including olive oil. For a particularly bright display, pyrotechnic compounds and even burning metals have been used. Since the Munich Games of 1972, most torches have instead used a liquefied gas such as propylene or a propane/butane mixture. These are easily stored, easily controlled and give a brightly luminous flame.
The number of torches made has varied from, for example, 22 for Helsinki in 1952, 6,200 for the 1980 Moscow Games and 8,000 for the London 2012 Games.
In transit, the flame sometimes travels by air. A version of the miner's safety lamp is used, kept alight in the air. These lamps are also used during the relay, as a back-up in case the primary torch goes out. This has happened before several Games, but the torch is simply re-lit and carries on.
The Olympic Flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.
In contrast to the Olympic flame proper, the torch relay of modern times which transports the flame from Greece to the various designated sites of the games had no ancient precedent and was introduced by Carl Diem at the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics