Yes, the Flame technically was extinguished last night in London, but its elegance — its power — rests in its symbolism. Pomp and circumstance aside, the Olympic Flame lives on whether a cauldron is alight or not. It never really goes out. This sentiment has a tendency to lapse into a sort of greeting-card hokiness that viewers easily gloss over, but the creative minds behind these Games would not allow that kind of dismissal. They not only embraced the metaphor, they took it a step farther and made it tangible.
By constructing one giant Flame from scores of individual torches engraved with the names of each athletic delegation, they offered a poetic visualization of the spirit of unity that underpins the Games. More over, this particular Flame ensured that each country had its own torch to take home — a poignant parting gift that quite literally distributed a piece of the Games to everyone, not just medal winners and/or countries with an outside shot of hosting a future Games.
Add to that another arresting visual during last night’s Closing Ceremony: A phoenix rising over the Flame. This Games’ end is also a beginning — not only the beginning of preparations for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, but also the beginning of countless dreams of future Olympians. READ FULL STORY