The flame that has burned at the modern games since those of 1936 in Berlin, is a revival of the ancient tradition whereby a flame burned in the altar of the goddess Hera during the ancient games.The ritual remains the same. A few months before the games open, the flame is lit on the site of Olympia, in Greece. From then onwards, a chain of athletes, taking over from one another every few kilometres, carry the flame to where the new games will be held. It is not just runners that carry the flame: swimmers, skiers or handicapped athletes take part in this vast relay.In '56 in Melbourne, the flame was transported by plane, due to the city's remoteness in relation to the rest of the world. Such was the case for the Albertville games, when the flame was flown to Paris, by Concorde. The Australians, not to be outdone, transported the flame by submarine to the Sydney 2000 games in order that it crossed the Great Barrier Reef.It should be note that the official flame is accompanied by a back-up. It is used to relight the official flame should it go out.