This is not a metaphor: the Olympic Flame has died for real, as technicians were moving the cauldron to a new location in the stadium. Now, they have to sacrifice 12 virgin ping-pong players and start a war with the Persians.
Actually, they just sent some old guy named Austin Playfoot on a cherry picker to re-light it. It looked more ridiculous than majestic, but it did the trick. At least Mr. Playfoot was one of the Olympic Torch-bearers, both this year and back in the 1948 London Olympics.
According to millenary tradition, the flame has to burn inside its cauldron for the duration of the game. It went out this Sunday, 11:14pm London time.
Thankfully, it was not accidentally extinguished by London's perpetual rain. It had to be extinguished for security reasons before the cauldron was moved to a new location. Before unceremoniously turning off the gas, they lit up the torch that was used by Mr. Playfoot to relight the cauldron this morning.
The move follows strong criticism by British media, which has been hammering the games' organizers' decision to place the cauldron in a place where it can't be seen from anyone outside of the stadium—something that apparently has never happened in Olympic history. Their strong criticism included words like bloody, git, knobhead, cabbage and how dare they. They also wrote organizers in the traditional British way: organisers. [Telegraph]
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