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 vestal virgins; six ping-pong players and start war with the Persians.
Actually, they just sent some old chap called Austin Playfoot on a cherry-picker to relight it. It looked more ridiculous than majestic, but it certainly did the trick. At least, Mr. Playfoot was one of the Olympic Torch carriers both this year and back in the 1948 London Olympics.
According to millenary tradition, the flame has to burn in its cauldron for the duration of the games. Unfortunately, 11:14pm London time isn't quite the duration, but this was no mere accident: it was extinguished for security reasons before Thomas Heatherwick's beautiful cauldron was moved to its new location.
The move follows strong criticism by the mainstream media, which has been hammering the games' organisers' 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. [Telegraph]
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