Legend says that the Greek hero Prometheus and his brother were given the task of populate Earth, creating all the species, including humankind. To achieve this aim, they received clay and a certain amount of gifts to be given to each creature. They shaped all the animals, giving each one a singular ability: wings to fly high, claws to grab hard, sharp teeth to fight, shells for protection, the skill to breathe under the water. Furthermore, they also distributed the gifts: courage, speed, strength, accuracy, determination, endurance, etc. At the end of their work, Prometheus took what had been left from the clay, and shaped the last creature: man. He looked at his artwork and was pleased. However, he realized that there was no gift left to be given to this last creature. And, without wings, claws, shell, anything that could protect it, this creature was very vulnerable amongst other beings. How would this last individual stand out? Prometheus was very clever, and found out the answer in a glimpse. He went to the Olympus, the sacred dwelling of gods, stole a flame of their sacred fire and gave it to men. In so doing, he made humanity superior to any other living being: humankind holds Hestia’s fire within.
The Olympic Games were meant to reveal the full potential of Hestia’s flame in us. When athletes give their best, they fly without wings, they fight without claws, they swim without gills, they show humans’ full power, tailored with courage, determination, resilience, and so many other attributes worthy of the gods from the Olympus.
Today, the Olympic Flame will be here in Vitória. It will shine on our streets, it will be held up high in the hands of both great athletes and ordinary people. Because we are all humans and the sacred flame shines within us all! May the Olympic Flame remind us of our ability to shine bright, to do better, to try harder, to overcome our daily limits, to conquer our everyday victory. Hestia’s Flame invites us to reveal, in words, in feelings, in actions, that we are all creatures of the Light! The Flame goes from torch to torch, lighting the next torch without extinguishing its own fire. That is the gift of light: to illuminate any darkness, to multiply when it is divided, to activate others just by standing close, always shinning bright!
Today, the Olympic Torch, which brings the flame that shines forever, will be on the streets of our city. The Olympic Torch enlightening a place called Victory! May the light that it brings activate the Light within us. That’s the Torch’s message. That’s the Flame’s invitation. That’s the Olympic call. Let’s try harder! Let’s win! We are humans with light within. Let’s shine bright!
This text was written as a homage to some friends that will be conducting the Olympic Flame on the streets of Vitória: Neymara Carvalho, Pierre Almeida and Fábio Luiz. And, also, to honour every person that makes the Olympic Spirit a way of living. People that win the great game of Life overcoming problems with dignity and respect.