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Ok, not really a mystery, but there are some questions that need to be answered...

How it goes: The torch is lit up someplace in Athens (the Parthenon?), then carried by lots and lots of people (usually retired sportsmen) to its current destination, which is wherever the Olympic Games take place. And it must be a propane torch or it goes off. So the one carrying it must refuel it somehow; presumably a car with gas tanks follows the torch-bearer and there's some kind of a meter on the torch itself showing how much gas it has left. Makes one wonder how they handled it several decades ago. Probably went off once in a while (although it must always be lit).

The real mystery: I heard that it traveled 27,000km to Sydney. Not all of it by foot, naturally. Do they take it by plane? Or maybe by boat, since flammables on planes are a no-no? And if they do, is there some kind of schedule thing with people taking turns holding it, or do they just lock it up someplace, or hoist it on the mast? And if they do take turns, do they run around the ship all the time or just hold it up?

Another quandary is the issue of its course, since they carry the flame through many countries. The Olympic Committee takes care of that, no doubt, as well as to the names of the hundreds of people that will eventually carry it. But there's the rub... what's with the next Olympics? They'll take place in Athens, so they'll have to hand-pick those athletes that will carry it, and at any rate every one of them will carry it for 10 metres or something like that... or will they initiate an Athens-to-Athens cross-world money-spending torch-carrying fiasco instead? And do remind me, who needs this flame anyway?

As a resident of Sydney, I may be qualified to answer some of Faioli's questions.

There's not just one torch that needs to be refuelled - each Olympic Torch Bearer gets their own torch, which they can purchase for $200...and probably sell on eBay for $1000. The exception was the final 5 runners who passed the torch around Stadium Australia during the Olympic Opening Ceremony - they passed the same torch to one another.

The torches themselves hold enough propane to burn for at least an hour, contained in a replacable canister. During the Torch Relay, one schoolgirl was burnt moderately when the torch seemed to explode in her hand. An old man had a heart attack and died during his run...perhaps from the exertion of the running. There was even a special torch that burns under water, and was taken below the sea at the Great Barrier Reef of the Queensland coast.

The torch was carried by about 10,000 people, and was carried large distances by planes, trains and automobiles, between towns. It was also carried by Surf Rescue Boat, Ferry, Sydney Harbour Jetcat, and had a ride on the Scenic Railway at Katoomba. During flight, the actual flame itself was transported in a small lantern. A few times, the torch went out, so they lit it again off the lantern.

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