The Olympic Torchbearers Who Lit Up the Games Throughout the Years - E! Online

The Olympic Torchbearers Who Lit Up the Games Throughout the Years

7/24/2021 1:27:00 AM

The Olympic Torchbearers Who Lit Up the Games Throughout the Years

The torch relay has been a surefire way to bring a spark to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, as runners from around the globe carry the flame to the host city and light up the Olympic cauldron.

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images1948John Markwas the final torchbearer at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, three years after WWII. He was seen running in front of the VIP stand at Wembley Stadium (best known as the home of the Football Association), while members of the organizing committee gave the British sprinter a round of applause.

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Getty ImagesOops! Olympic athleteGuido Carolitook a little spill while bearing the torch at the 1956 Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. The Italian speed skater fell onto the ice and "scrambled quickly to his feet to complete his tour of honor," according to the original caption for this archival photo.

Bettmann/Getty ImagesFrom record setter to history maker!Enriqueta Basilio, who was Mexico's record holder for the 80 meter hurdle, became the first woman to light the final flame. The 20 year old was photographed rehearsing in July 1968 (right), before igniting the Olympic cauldron at the Mexico City games in October. During the big moment, she ascended a giant staircase in front of all the spectators (left).

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images1984For Los Angeles' turn as host, Olympic gold medalistRafer Johnsoncarried the symbolic torch through the Memorial Coliseum, after it had traveled through 42 states in more than 80 days.Paul Burnett/AP/Shutterstock

Clad in Canada's signature red and white, young figure skaterRobyn Perrysparked the flame of the Olympic cauldron during the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She was just 12 years old at the time.Shaun Botterill/ALLSPORTHis Majesty has entered the building.

Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, had the honor of being the final torchbearer at his country's Olympics in the 1990s. The heir apparent was 20 at the time and is now 48 years old, married toMette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, and a father of two.

Getty ImagesBoxing champMuhammad Alilit the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 event in Atlanta, Georgia, which marked the Olympics' centennial celebration.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images2002Gold medal winners of the U.S. hockey team from 1980 were reunited for a special mission at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. They cheered while lighting the flame in USA jerseys.

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Ron Antonelli/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images2004Surf's up in Greece:Nikolaos Kaklamanakiswon a gold medal for windsurfing in 1996 and was back for more at the Athens Olympics to set fire to the Olympic cauldron.Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images

Italian skierStefania Belmondowaved to her fans, while showing off the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony at the Turin Olympics.Phil Walter/Getty ImagesOlympic gymnastLi Ningput his skills to good use at the Beijing games. The Chinese athlete flew through the air at the memorable Opening Ceremony, while protecting the sacred flame on its last leg.

Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesFrom left to right: Paralympic Games athlete Read more: E! News »

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