Day 03 – Federated States of Micronesia (24 May, 2000)
Unfortunately most of the good images of day 3 in Micronesia have been lost. Of course the not so great ones survived – Murphy’s law!
This image shows a young me (long hair and all) in my hotel room.
Everyone goes to a lot of trouble to keep these little flames burning 24hrs a day from the beginning of the relay in Greece right through until the Opening Ceremony in Sydney. It would be logistically a lot easier to light a new one each morning with a match – but Olympic tradition is strong. And for all the fakery and staged moments, the one true part of the Olympic journey is that this flame is the original flame.
If a torch goes out (by wind or rain or other hiccup) the miners lantern is always on hand to take a new, original flame from. So yes, there are 3 flames at any one time. One on the burning torch and two resting somewhere nearby (usually a security vehicle – or at night in the Flame Security’s hotel room) in the miners safety lanterns. Protocol is to only let the public see one Flame.
There was also a Flame that was sent back to the SOCOG office in Sydney in an additional safety lantern as a ‘disaster insurance’ version in case we really screwed up with the backups on the road. But I never saw it and never heard anything about whether it really was kept alight back in the SOCOG offices.