Thursday 21 September 2017

Martina Devlin: This flame lit up our lives and celebrated our peace

SYMBOLS are potent because they have the capacity to catch the imagination and stir people, as we saw with the Olympic flame's arrival in Ireland. The flame is a forerunner to the Games and Britain's decision to send it across the Border honoured the camaraderie that underpins the Olympic ideal.

There was a fringe republican protest in Derry -- a misplaced attempt to take advantage of a high-profile event -- but that is not the image to take from the flame's unprecedented visit to both sides of this island that we share.

Instead, let's focus on two sportsmen who became the public face of "friendly understanding among nations" -- an aspiration expressed by the French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics in 1896.

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