The climax of the relay — the lighting of the Olympic cauldron — has provided some unforgettable moments such as Mohammad Ali trembling to light it as he suffered from Parkinson’s disease, and an archer’s blazing arrow in Barcelona.
But things have not always gone smoothly. The most grisly blunder came in Seoul in 1988 when dozens of doves released earlier in the opening ceremony alighted on the cauldron.
When the flame was lit, several of the birds were incinerated, to the horror of watching spectators.
Legendary Australian athlete Cathy Freeman was also left hanging at the Sydney opening ceremony when a platform supposed to rise after the lighting of the flame got stuck for around three minutes.
“We’ve got a slight technical hitch. Nothing that can’t be fixed,” said one reassuring voice in her earpiece. “F—, f—, f—, f—,” screamed another.