A Fire is a sacred symbol dating back to prehistoric times. In ancient Greece it symbolized the creation of the world, renewal and light. It was also the sacred symbol of Hephaestus and a gift to the human race from Prometheus who stole it from Zeus. At the centre of every city-state in ancient Greece there was an altar with an ever-burning fire and in every home the sacred Flame burned, dedicated to Hestia, goddess of the family.
B Torch Relay races started in ancient Greece as religious rituals held at night. Soon they turned into a team athletic event, initially among adolescents, and further developed to become one of the most popular ancient sports. The enchanting power of fire was a source of inspiration. Sacred flames lit by 出e rays of the sun always burned in Olympia, in an altar dedicated to Hestia. Fire was ignited with the help of a concave mirror, which has the ability to concentrate the rays of the sun on a single spot. When the head priestess touched that point with the Torch the Flame was lit.
C The Ancient Greeks held a “lampadedromia” (the Greek word for Torch Relay), where athletes competed by passing on the Flame in a relay race to the finish line. In ancient Athens the ritual was performed during the Panathenaia fest, held every four years in honour of the goddess Athena.The strength and purity of the sacred Flame was preserved through its transportation by the quickest means; in this case a relay of Torchbearers. The Torch Relay carried the Flame from the altar of Prometheus to the altar of goddess Athena on the Acropolis. Forty youths from the ten Athenian tribes had to run a distance of 2.5 kilometres in total.
D For the modem Olympic Games the sacred Flame is lit in Olympia by the head priestess, in the same way as in antiquity, and the ritual includes the athletes’ oath. The Flame is then transmitted to the Torch of the first runner and the journey of the Torch Relay begins. The modem Torch Relay is a non-competitive replication of the ancient Flame relay and a symbolic celebration of the Olympic Games. In a prophetic speech at the end of the Stockholm Games, on June 27, 1912, Baron Pierre de Coubertin said： “And now great people have received the Torch and have thereby undertaken to preserve and quicken its precious Flame. Lest our youth temporarily let the Olympic Torch fall from their hands other young people on the other side of the world are prepared to pick it up again.”
E The Torch Relay, as the opening of the Olympic celebration, was revived in the Berlin Olympiad in 1936 and since then the Torch Relay has preceded every Olympic Summer Games. Starting from Olympia and carried by the first runner, the young athlete Konstantinos Kondylis, the Flame travelled for the first time hand to hand until it reached the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Since，the Flame’s magic has marked and has been identified with the beginning of the Games. In Olympiads that followed, the Torch Relay continued to play an important role, having been enriched with the characteristics and cultures of the host countries. The choice of the athlete who lights the Flame in the Olympic stadium is always symbolic to the host countries.
F For the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, the Flame followed a route in homage to the Greek and Roman civilisations. It was carried from Piraeus to Rome on the ship “Americo Vespucci” and passed through some of the best-known or important historical monuments of the two countries. It was the first time that the event was covered by television. In the Mexico Olympiad in 1968，the Flame followed the route taken by Christopher Columbus, and the athletics champion Enriqueta Basilio was the first woman to light the Flame in the Olympic stadium. For the Montreal Games in 1976, the Flame travelled by satellite from Athens to Ottawa, and in the 1992 Games in Barcelona, a Paralympics archery medalist Antonio Rebollo lit the Flame in the stadium with a burning arrow. In Sydney 2000, the Flame made its journey underwater in the Great Barrier Reef. And the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay will traverse the longest distance, cover the greatest area and include the largest number of people.
G The design of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch takes advantage of Chinese artistic heritage and technological expertise. The design of the aluminum torch features traditional scrolls and “Lucky Cloud’'. It stands 72 centimetres high and weighs 985 grams. The Torch incorporates technological innovations to be able to remain lit in winds of up to 65 kilometres-an-hour and lit in rain of up to 50 millimetres-an-hour. And the torch can keep burning for 15 minutes. Other technological advancements prevent colour discolouration and corrosion around the cone from which the Flame bums. The Torch construction is also environmentally-conscious. The materials are recyclable, and the propane fuel meets environmental requirements. “The Beijing Olympic Torch boasts both distinctive Chinese cultural features, and technical excellence and sophisticated materials. It will carry the friendship that Chinese people extend to the world and the Olympic spirit to the five continents and to the peak of Mt. Qomolangma," said BOCOG President Liu Qi.“The torch and the Olympic Flame are symbols which embody the Olympic Values of excellence, respect and friendship. They inspire us to be the best we can be in all that we do，”added IOC President Jacques Rogge “The magnificent design of the torch for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay will also add a very unique Chinese flavour to the relay, as the 'Clouds of Promise’ carry the Beijing Games’ message to the world.”
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage? In boxes 1-10 on your answer sheet, write
1 Altars had been built in every ancient Greece city.
2 Torch Relay races originated from ancient Greece as rituals dedicated to Prometheus.
3 There are only ten tribes living in Ancient Greek.
4 The ancient and modem Olympic Games obtained the sacred Flame in Olympia in different ways.
5 The Torch Relay was restarted at the Berlin Games as the opening of Olympic celebration.
6 The opening ceremony had been suspended temporarily before the Berlin Olympiad.
7 Host countries choose well known national athlete to light flames.
8 In the Mexico Olympiad in 1968, the Flame was lit by Christopher Columbus.
9 The Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch can keep burning in the light rain.
10 The design of the torch for the Bejing 2008 Olympics is the best so far.