Olympic Cauldron Lighters: A Complete Timeline

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A global tradition by the numbers

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Alain Calmat lights the Olympic cauldron at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France (AP Image)

This summer, the Olympic torch ceremony will return to London for the first time since John Mark lit the cauldron in Wembley Stadium in 1948. In this month's issue of The Atlantic, Ed Caesar looks back on the Olympic tradition, its history, and meaning. Who will England choose as its avatar this year? The answer remains a closely guarded secret (odds appear to favor former British track star Roger Bannister), but maybe a glance at past torchbearers will give you an edge with the bookie.

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Daniel D. Snyder is a writer based in New Mexico.

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