IT’S fitting that the Olympic flame, which passed through the City yesterday, is lit in Olympia by focusing the sun’s rays in a mirror. The modern Games is a mirror of nations, in which the host nation and its guests reveal themselves to the world.
Take the torch relay. For the Nazis, who ran the first relay in 1936, it was a statement of imperial intent. The flame crossed Czechoslovakia like a dog marking its territory. For Britain’s latest Games, the same symbol is instead a beacon of both a peaceful ideal and more local anxieties, criss-crossing the length and breadth of our small island, in an effort to bring a spirit of national unity to a Games centred on London. Continue reading