A German runner carries the Olympic flame into Berlin’s swastika-draped stadium in 1936. [Source: Wikipedia]
The notion that the Olympic “movement” is about individual athleticism is a myth. The Olympics have long been devoted to nationalism and the manipulation of individual aspirations for the glorification of nation-states. This haunting image is a reminder that the tradition of runners relaying the Olympic flame was invented by Adolph Hitler and his myth-makers for the first “Genocide Olympics” in Berlin in 1936. The ritual drama was devised to symbolize the Aryan race’s promise passing like the flame from classical Greece to Nazi Germany. Where was the world’s outrage then? What might have been stopped if protesters had tried to spoil Hitler’s spectacle?