Olympic cauldron lighters

Since 1936, the privilege of lighting of the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony is an honor normally bestowed upon a competing or past great Olympic athlete. The cauldron lighters, by Olympics, and their sport:

1936 Berlin: Fritz Schligen (track and field)*
1948 London: John Mark (track and field)
1952 Helsinki: Hannes Kolehmainen (track and field)
1956 Melbourne: Ron Clarke (track and field)
1960 Rome: Giancarlo Peris (track and field)
1964 Tokyo: Yoshinori Sakai (born in Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945, day atomic bomb dropped)
1968 Mexico City: Enriqueta Basilio (track and field)
1972 Munich: Guenter Zahn (track and field)
1976 Montreal: Sandra Henderson and Stephane Prefontaine (track and field); represented Canada’s English and French heritages
1980 Moscow: Sergei Belov (basketball)
1984 Los Angeles: Rafer Johnson (track and field)
1988 Seoul: Chong Son-Man, Kim Won-Tak, Son Mi-Jong (track and field)
1992 Barcelona: Antonio Rebollo (archery in Paralympics)
1996 Atlanta: Muhammad (boxing)
2000 Sydney: Cathy Freeman (track and field)
2004 Athens: Nikolaos Kaklamanakis (sailing)

* Unlike virtually all those who followed, Fritz Schligen did not have an Olympic pedigree. He didn’t actually compete at the 1936 Berlin Games but was selected as a “symbol of German sporting youth.”

Compiled by Ross Atkin.

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