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The Running of the Flame

Feb 17, 2010

by Naomi Buell, VIA Architecture Vancouver

The running of the flame has a bit of a controversial past, having been introduced at the Berlin Olympics during the Nazi regime. Today, it represents hope, sportsmanship, and the interconnectedness of nations. The flame is ignited in Olympia and crosses through many continents to arrive at the central stadium of the Olympic host nation. The flame has had an adventurous and interesting history and has traveled through many mediums including boats, canoes, deep sea divers, camels and was even transformed into a radio signal in 1976.

Last Friday, our Vancouver office was fortunate to see this wonder as it made its way to GM place in time for the opening ceremonies.  It would seem that every office had the same idea as the excited crowd covered the streets. Some people even stood on dumpsters, hung out of windows and off balconies and watched from their roofs. Some VIA-ites were lucky enough to see it at multiple locations as it made its way all over Vancouver.

As the flame approached, the crowd narrowed, causing the running of the flame to become more of a walking of the flame in order to make it through the many obstructions (mainly people) in the way. Once the torch bearer had passed in front, all that could be seen was a small flame above the heads of the proud people following behind.

 This is it Vancouver, the Olympics are finally here and as incoming COC president Marcel Aubut said, “We will be the best hosts on the planet, because we are hosting the planet — but on one thing there will be no compromise. These Games are ours.”

Nothing like a little friendly competition to kick off the games.