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Hey, everybody. I don't know if you've heard, but we have a book coming out finally, finally after all these years. It's great. It's fun. You're going to love it. It's called stuff you should know. Colen an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. Yep. And it's 26 jam packed chapters that we wrote with another guy named Nils Parker, who's amazing and has illustrated amazingly by our illustrator, Carly Manado. And it's just an all around joy to pick up and read, even though we haven't physically held in our hands yet.
It's like we have Chuck in our dreams so far.
I can't wait to actually see and hold this thing and smell it and so should you. So preorder now it means a lot to us. The support is a very big deal. So preorder anywhere. Books are sold.
Welcome to stuff you should know. A production of by Heart Radio's HowStuffWorks. Hey, and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark, and there's Charles to be Chuck Brown over there. And this is stuff you should know. De de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de.
What this is going to do with the Olympics, it's it's equally stirring.
I thought you were done the Olympic Games song.
That's what I started out doing. And then about two dozen years into it, I realized they could not bring it to mind. So I just wanted the Rocky theme instead.
You know, the Olympics. Well, I don't know if they would they still be going on right now? Would they be over?
I don't know. They could have just wrapped up, actually. It's kind of sad.
You know, it's sad for now. It will be encouraging later.
I think the Tokyo Olympics, whenever they happen, are going to be a global coming together in celebration of beating coronavirus.
Yeah, totally greedy those ceremonies. Yes.
But from what I read, the Olympic flame is still alive and well in Tokyo.
What if the opening ceremonies had little, you know, Corona crowns running around and people smashing them with, like, big inflatable hammers?
Right. They tell the story of the year of the coronavirus epidemic through interpretive dance. It just has like a big giant bad at the beginning. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It's the villain may be plenty of islands. And that one, they'd be fun for sure. For sure.
So obviously talking Olympic torch as if you had guessed or hadn't bothered to look at the title of this episode. Everybody and I'm kind of excited about this because it's it's just dyed in the Wool SDK episode and that it's very nice. Yeah. It's about one specific thing. That's a part of a much larger thing, which we've not yet done an episode on.
Yeah. In the kind of thing where one day when you're watching an Olympic ceremony again and you see that flame. Yeah. You have that, uh, that insider knowledge. Yeah.
You'll think did it in de de de de de de de de de de de goodness.
So Chuck, uh, I didn't know much about Olympic torches. I've seen a torch lighting or two in my time on television only. Yeah. Um, but there's a pretty it's pretty interesting, actually, the the kind of the history of it and how the things are made. I was reading over like I guess you'd call it like a request for proposal PDF from like the London Olympics Committee from years ago, basically saying, hey, this is a call out all designers who want to try their hand at designing the London Olympic torch.
Here's all the details you need to know. It was really fascinating stuff.
And we're going to convey that fascination post-haste of that RFP or just torches, maybe a little bit of both, actually.
So the history of the torch, we're talking you know, you've got to go back to Greece if you're going to talk about anything Olympic history wise. And if you go back far enough, you're going to hear a story about Prometheus stealing fire from zoos, giving that to humans. That's how they say we got fire. Sure.
And in order to commemorate that, the Greeks had these relay races like we all know and love, except instead of passing a little aluminum baton, they would pass live fire and flame via torch.
Yeah, they would set a car on fire, push it to the next person. I actually the one thing on Prometheus, those linking him up. So he was punished by zoos for stealing fire and giving it being a bad boy effort here and naughty Monte.
And he had his liver eaten by an eagle every day. And because he was an immortal titan, his liver would grow back each night and then it would be eaten now eaten by an eagle again the next day.
That's why I feel these days and eagles eating it every day. It is kind of twenty twenty. But it regenerates though. Yeah. So but I mean, I guess the upshot of all this is that the fire was extremely important to the Greeks and they showed it off as much. So when they started having Olympic Games back in I guess 776 BCE. Yeah, they wanted to make fire, kind of a prominent part of it. And so they they they celebrated the theft of fire from zoos by Prometheus by having a torch relay where there was basically like like today's baton relay marathons or runs or whatever you call.
But it was with the torch and whoever reached the end with. Torch one that that relay race, and that's how kind of the Olympic torch was born. Yeah, and, you know, the Games back then were a very big deal and that they would stop war. Yeah.
Which is something they love to do just to take part in these games. And they had these runners, they call them Herold's apiece. That would go all through Greece saying, you know, Truc everybody. Right. And they would hope they don't get speared. And if they made it through, that truce would remain all during the Olympics until the flame is extinguished and then they start sparring again immediately.
Yeah. And the point was that anybody who wanted to go watch the Olympics could make it through Greece unskilled to go watch and then make it back home on killed, hopefully to unskilled.
Yeah. So if you go back to Olympia, there was an altar there dedicated to Herra, who the goddess of birth and marriage. And at the beginning of those first Olympic Games, they would ignite a cauldron at Harry's altar and they would light it with with a parabolic mirror. They call it a Skyfire. And it's sort of like, you know, in Archimedes death ray, where you or a magnifying glass or something, where you focus the sun down to that single spot.
If you're a sadistic child, you burn ants that way. Should you ever do that? No, it's not nice. No, leave the ants alone. Leave the ants alone.
But they would that's how they would ignite that initial flame and that flame. The idea is that it stays lit throughout the Olympics.
Yeah, so. This is a pretty cool tradition, if you think about it, I mean, just because the Olympics have been around for so long today, the modern Olympics, we kind of take this whole thing for granted. But like, this is a pretty neat tradition that I guess just came up out of whole cloth among the Greeks. Yeah. And so they were like, we're going to keep this going. And they did for another thousand years while they did the Olympics.
But then when the Olympics kind of died out after a millennia, no millennium, the torch and all of that stuff died out with it. Fortunately, the Greeks were a highly literate society and they wrote a lot of this stuff down. And it was rediscovered when the Olympics were revived in the 19th century by a guy named Baron Pierre de Coubertin. And he one of the things that he did was to say, I really love the Olympic Games. I'm not necessarily aware that there was a torch relay or anything like that.
So we're going to wait another 30 years or so before we introduce the torch again.
That's right. That came in nineteen twenty eight and Amsterdam. And there they had the cauldron on fire on purpose. But there was they weren't relaying that torch. Still, it took till 1936 in Berlin when Carl dmn he was the secretary general of the organizing committee of the games there. And he said, hey guys, we've got to bring this back to to the OG's and we got to get that torch relay going and we got to light it in Olympia and get it here to Berlin.
We got to do it right.
Yeah, he definitely did it right for sure. I mean, not only was like the whole thing revived, like the idea of the torch relay, but igniting that torch in Greece and then having it make its way all the way to Berlin, that's pretty cool stuff. And from what I read, that was also right up the Nazis, Ali, and that it kind of connected the Third Reich to the the great Greek and Roman empires of yore, which they were super into to try to legitimize themselves.
So they went for it. Fortunately, that first Olympic torch, which we'll talk more about the torches, it did not have a swastika anywhere on it, which is wonderful that they managed to keep that off of there.
I know that's kind of surprising to. Huh? It is extremely surprising. I mean, it really is genuinely surprising. And I'm like very pleased. I was really pleased. I looked at pictures of that torch with, like, one eye closed.
Just trying to find this. No, no. Just I was afraid I was going to see it. I couldn't believe it. And little by little, I was like, it's not there. So I was pleased by that. You have it. My eyes. My eyes. I just turned into Tóth from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Melt.
So the relay at the Winter Olympics, I think it took until 1952 to introduce it at the Winter Games and they did not light it in Olympia that year. They lit it in Norway because that's where the skiing was born. So they thought they would honor Norway in that way. But finally, finally, in 1964 in Austria, at Innsbruck, they said, we got to get it together, everybody. We've got to get on the same page. We've got to go winter and summer and started out in Olympia and relay that thing to wherever the heck we're going to have these games.
And that's right. And they did.
And I actually looked a little bit into the I guess the 1952 games where they lit it in Norway. They lit it in the hearth of the home of 19th century Norwegian skiing legend Sandra Norheim. It's either Sandra or Sandra. So Indri and he was apparently quite the daredevil skier. I saw a quote about him that he was fearless in daring. He ran straight down the most dangerous and challenging hills, rudely waving his cap.
Which just made me love that guy immediately. Yeah. And I think those games ended up in Helsinki, but.
Well, there's a little nugget I'll drop in the next segment here after we break. Oh, I can't wait.
I've got another segment or another nugget on that. This one other time in history when the Winter Olympic torch was lit in the hearth of the home of nineteenth century Norwegian skiing legend Sondre Norheim was in Squaw Valley in 1960 because the Olympic Committee couldn't get their act together fast enough to organize the lighting ceremony in Greece. So Norway stepped in again and said, she's got a fireplace.
We've seen it in action. Hee hee hee. Yeah, party Saunders's house. All right. I'm sure we're mispronouncing it probably so rudely waving his. You want to take a break yet, let's do it. All right, everybody, we're going to take a break and come back. And guess what? We're going to talk about Olympic torches some more.
All right, Chuck, let's talk about those RF PS that thrilled me so fully.
Yeah, if you want to be the firm, the design firm that builds designs and builds the torch, you've got to get in there and you got to submit your proposal. You got to grease and palms. Yes, you got a tip, the right door, man, if you know what I mean, you have to you have to spread many goats around. That's right. To the right people. No, I think you just submit a proposal and the Olympic Committee looks at it and they sort of sit there, like at the beginning of planes, trains and automobiles for three hours in silence, kind of twiddling their thumbs, looking, looking, looking.
And finally, they say the bid goes to you. You win the assignment. You've got to have a torch. That looks great, of course, and you've got to have a torch that works because this thing has got to it's got to stay lit under any condition. It can be you can get this thing through a hurricane, supposedly, and it'll have to stay lit.
Yeah, I mean, they're pretty serious about this thing not going out. So they build in redundancies. Oftentimes there's a couple of different flames working in conjunction to to make this thing work. But in addition to the the the actual feel of it and the look of it, like you want to make it so that anybody, anybody basically alive on earth could carry it. So it's got to be lightweight. Typically I saw usually about a pound or so.
It has to.
Oh, is that all or most of the ones in that RFP, the golden RFP for from the London Olympics. It had a list actually. You got to look this up.
Everybody I cannot remember just search London Olympic torch proposal design proposal. I'll bet that would bring up this PDA anyway. Some sleepy corner of the Internet works. Yeah, I found it. And I'm proud as punch about that. But it had a list of like some of the specs of past torches and most of them seem to be around one to two pounds. This article from HowStuffWorks is three to four, but I saw one to two pounds.
Maybe this without being fully loaded with fuel. Sure.
And hey, if you can carry something that's two pounds, you can probably put two hands on it and manage the four pounds. Sure, sure. Although they like you to hold it with one one hand. Yeah.
Just because it looks cooler, these these modern torches that we're looking at were sort of originated at those Squaw Valley games in nineteen sixty when a Disney artist named John Hinche designed this, you know, sort of the first modern torch that everyone else said, yeah, that's a good idea, that's what we should do.
We should have fuel inside of it and we should have some backup flame inside of it.
And they kind of function like a like a camp stove. Sure.
A fancy camp stove basically is what it is in. And we'll get into the fuels and stuff. But there is a liquid fuel that becomes a gas. You know, it's under pressure. And then it comes up these tiny little holes just like a campsite over a Coleman lantern.
Yeah. And I didn't know this. This is pretty cool. There are two two things that have to be designed into it. Well, a couple of things that have to be designed into it. In addition to being easy to carry by, basically anybody has to be very light, has to be aerodynamic. Ergonomic, I think is another. Or if you threw that word around in your bid, they would probably be like, oh, this guy knows what he's talking about.
But you also have to, at least as far as London is concerned. But I got the impression that this was a standard thing that you have to design in a way to permanently deactivated after its one time use so that it can never be lit again, which I thought was kind of cool.
I bet you could hack that, though.
Funnily enough, I found another weird corner of the Internet researching this one at Olympic torch repair dotcom, which is possibly the most Nesh retail website I've ever seen in my life. They sell one part and it is a part designed to fix the 1996 Atlanta Olympic torch. And they don't use the words that it will be lit again. Right.
But just from the pictures and the text from everything that I'm seeing, I believe this is a rogue website dedicated to making 1996 Atlanta Olympic torches burn again after they've been purposefully disabled.
Well, and you might be laughing, saying how much could this person be making off this? But here's another little fun fact.
There are anywhere from ten to fifteen thousand of these torches that are built, if you'll notice when you see these, you know, and they don't cover all of this thing, or maybe they do in some dark corner of the Internet, I'm sure somebody does cover might end up doing it in the future as a hobby covers each and every passing of the torch, but they don't actually pass the torch.
They light the other person's torch and then they run away. And then you never the camera doesn't hang on the person who just, you know, standing there. With their torch and you think what happens to those things? Well, you're allowed to buy it if you want. The one from Japan this year was going to cost about 600, 650 bucks.
American, that's a steal. Have you seen that thing? Yeah, it's good looking. They're beautiful. Have you seen the overhead shot where it looks like a cherry blossom?
It's wonderful. I think so, too.
And that is a price that's basically at cost because the A the IOC nor the IOC can profit from the sale of Olympic torches. That is not a side hustle for her. So I don't believe what the right says. No, she can't actually make any money off of the Olympic torch.
So that's basically cost. And it turns out there's quite an aftermarket for these things, too. I think there are right now to complete collections for individuals in the world. And another guy that's close and they cost anywhere from one hundred or four thousand for the newer ones, 15 to 70 grand for older ones. And I think the priciest ever was that 1952 Helsinki one. How much? Eight hundred and eighty thousand dollars. Oh, boy. Because they only made twenty two of them.
So obviously Rarity is going to drive that price up.
The highest I saw was less than that is two hundred and fifteen thousand for the 1960 Squaw Valley one. Oh yeah. The Disney designer made and I think I saw like they made one hundred of them so you'd have to have some coin to, to have a complete collection.
And that's a very niche collection as well. I mean more power to you.
But and I have to say, like a lot of them, you just they're not very pleasing to the eye. Yeah. There's some UGG Olympic torches out there. I mean, Mexico City, 1968 is if it's not a hand wisk, I don't know what it is.
Well, it's Homi. Maybe it is. And it was cool. It actually, according to the 2012 London Olympics Torch RFP pdf that you have framed on your wall, that is the longest.
I'm making T-shirts out of different pages. That is the longest burning Olympic torch in the history of Olympic torches. Most of these things are designed to burn 10 or 15 minutes, which is alarming, if you like. Well, wait a minute. We don't want the Olympic flame to to burn out. But as we'll see, these relays are actually super short. This one, the Mexico City 1968 torch, could burn up to 30 minutes to.
I like this torch. The WISC, and he looks great. I think it looks like it was. I don't think it looks bad. I just think it looks like a kitchen whisk. And I can't think of anything else but whipping cream when I look at it.
I'm looking at two different torches, though, for Mexico. One looks like a whisk and one looks like sort of like an Aztec club. So there's two torches. I don't know, I'm going to have to I have to get to the bottom of this, OK, because I'm going to talk to me, know what you find, because I'm going to have to add it to my website about Olympic torches. Oh, goodness.
So I don't remember where we're going with that. Oh, you're talking about the Tokyo one where you can buy it. When you when you have the torch, when your torch relay is done, it's taken from you disabled, put it in its packaging and then present it to you if you've indicated you want to buy it.
And if not, they throw it into the nearest river.
But I think that's pretty cool that you can you get to buy it if you want to. And it's disabled so you can never let to get unless you know the guy who runs the Olympic torch repair. But one of the other things, too, that they the has become kind of a thing, especially in the last like 30, 30 years, maybe more. Is sustainability built into these?
And you want to it's not a requirement, but I get the impression from that RFP that's exactly where I got it from, that you you're probably doing nothing but helping your bid if you have figured out some sort of sustainable angle to it, like the Tokyo torch, which again, it's just gorgeous rose gold looking, but it's actually aluminum.
And the aluminum is made from former temporary housing that was used after the Fukushima disaster to house some of the residents who've been displaced.
They're really pulling at the heartstrings there. Yeah. Yes. I'm sure the person who designed that was like I got I got the thing that's going to get we're going to win this bid with this. And they're like, is it true now? But they don't know.
I mean, you know, I shoot down airplanes in my spare time. I have a bunch of them in my backyard. Now I know what to do with I like the view from the top better.
Yeah, it's caught in the side. Yes, and one of the things I mean, we talked about flames and them being redundant the that you don't want that flame to go out. So one of the things that that that 20, 20 torch has is from each of those rounded pedals, that looks like the pedal of a cherry blossom flower provides the flame and they all come together to to to build one big flame. Yeah, but because you have five different smaller flames, that big flame, even if it flickers or wanes, it's never going to go out.
Yeah. You got five redundancies. Exactly. So the fuel, they've used a bunch of things over the years because you want something to burn bright, something that you can see during the daytime. You want something that's not dangerous. But there have been some dangerous torches over the years. They've used gunpowder, they've used olive oil. They used to use something called Hecks Amien, which is formaldehyde and ammonia can't be safe and naphthalene.
So in our soap episode, Chuck, one of the things I didn't get to talk about was that pheles, NAPFA, laundry soap. Yeah. You ever seen that stuff? I don't think so. It's like this hipster Ristic laundry soap that's old timey that they still make. But NAPFA is benzene and it's actually really, really bad for you. So they were basically burning benzene in this stuff. And you can all sorts of bad things can happen like your red blood cells can rupture.
Yeah, that's no good. You can also have nasty smoke, like in the case of Atlantis was pretty smoky. In 56, they had magnesium and aluminum lighting the flame and there were chunks of flame that fell off. So you don't want that either. You want something that burns clean, that looks good. I think now they use propane and butane, which makes a lot of sense. You know, that's what you use in lighters and gas grills.
And, you know, like I said, it works like a little like a little camp stove. You've got this fuel being pushed through a valve. There's a fuel reservoir, and then you have all these little tiny openings just like you can't camp stove. Well, and once it squeezes through there, it builds up that pressure. Then finally, once it's out the other side, that pressure drops, it turns into a gas and it's ready to burn at a consistent rate.
Right. And again, there's a couple of flames, typically, one that burns really hot but small. That is almost like a pilot light for the the bigger ones in that 20, 20 torch. There's five of those things. And then you've got the the the bigger, brighter flame that that is big and bold and just says in your face world and the Olympic flame. But it's much less stable. It flickers a lot more in the wind, but it's not going to go out because you get those pilot lights.
It's sort of like the understudy to the Broadway star. Yeah, but the understudy is really the one who's giving the star all of the suggestions and notes that are making the stars star.
And we'll get to the root here in a few minutes. But the thing, you know, goes a long way and sometimes even across oceans and sometimes underwater, which is what happened in 2000 when it went across the Great Barrier Reef very symbolically. And they had a flare inside this thing to keep the flame burning in the water, which is pretty amazing.
Yeah. Did you see video of that? Yeah. I mean, I saw it live. Oh, you did, huh?
Sure. I'm an Olympics guy. I love that stuff. That's cool. I didn't see that. I like the Olympics, too. I don't know if I'd see my Olympics guy.
OK, but you're an Olympic torch RFP guy.
Yeah, that's way more up my alley. Yeah, they've been running around so we take another break.
Yeah. I think we've reached breaktime if you ask me.
All right, we'll come back and we'll talk about lighting this thing and then and that big relay right up to this. All right, Chuck, so we're back to talk about the actual lighting of this thing, and if you guys remember, we talked about lighting the torch, using a pair of parabolic mirror to concentrate the sun's rays all the way back in the seven seventies BCE. Well, when the Olympic organizers of the modern Olympics started bringing the torch back, I guess what was his name?
I think it was the German guy from the 1936 Olympics. I believe he had this like that's where he went right to it. He was also sports historian, by the way, which gives away why he was so, so privy to all this stuff. But he I guess since that time, every time we've lit a torch from Olympia, they have used a parabolic mirror to concentrate the sun's rays and they stick a torch in there and it catches flame.
And then there you have the official Olympic flame that will make its way from Olympia to the host city somehow. Some way.
Yeah, they make a big show of it. They have an actor dressed as a ceremonial priestess in these robes and like the ancient Greeks, and they you know, they act it out. And the for the Winter Games, they actually the relay begins at the monument to the guy he spoke of earlier, the Coubertin, who founded those first games. But the summer games, a.k.a. the other games, are carried to a fire spot at that altar of Ihara.
Yeah, Heriot Resouces, wife, sister, sister, wife.
And then the relay begins. And you know how this works out is determined at every Olympics. The organizing committee determines the route.
There's always some silly Olympic theme. It's not always silly. Sometimes it's nice, but I'm not a big theme guy.
No, you didn't like the theme of the 1996 Olympics. What's it. I think you're going to bring that up. That was the mascot that was in the theme. Oh, I thought it was both. I think the theme was Red Knackery.
You know, it was the theme was Gitter done.
I was looking online today because remember, they had talked about it before the stainless steel pick up trucks. Yeah. And Atlanta. And I was like, where are those things now?
And I could find nary any evidence that they ever existed. So I don't know if they scrub the Internet, but I know you're better at the dark corners of the of the Web. So you see what I can do. Maybe we'll go in together and buy one. That would be pretty awesome, actually. So, you know, like I said, the root is determined by the committee. Sometimes it goes from country to country on a plane. Sometimes it's a train.
There have been dogsleds, there's been motorcycles and horseback. And if you are a person who is tasked with carrying this thing, like, I think you have to be able to go at least four hundred and thirty seven yards, 400 meters, you got to be at least 14 years old. I would like to throw our name in the hat, quite frankly, for a future Olympic Games pickaninny. That'd be fine. I'd be willing to carry it with you.
We could either hand on it. Yeah, but.
You're you know, you're you've done something for the community or you're a notable human being. Yeah. Or or you or you work for the company who's sponsoring the Olympics. Right.
Right. You're you're a sea level executive, which is absolutely true.
We're not kidding. No, no.
And I mean, like, there's sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands of people who are involved in this because I mean, if basically they're running if you're running like a basically a football field and a half and you're going to bring it, you're taking this thing that's a thousand kilometers, right. You're like you need a lot of people to do that. So there's a lot of people involved in the Olympic relay. So there's a lot of people who, you know, yeah, just kind of ended up there because they, you know, they were a sponsor.
But there's also interesting people, too. There is sure in sometimes they're not even people. But I was looking at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics relay and there was a robot named Hubo who was a torch bearer. And Hubo not only carry the torch, Hubo drove the torch in like basically a dune buggy with a human being in the passenger seat and then got out, approached a brick wall, almost fell over, was rated by some other humans, cut through the brick wall and then passed the torch through the whole hubo had cut into the brick wall.
That's the level of zaniness that can be achieved with the with the torch relay because there's so many people involved.
Can you imagine being that guy is like, did you see the Olympics the other day, the torch relay? Oh, did you carry the torch? No, I rode in the dune buggy of the robot. Right. Just looking very nervous.
I was a fail safe, you know, in case he went nuts. It was pretty great. They also did paragliding. They paragliding. Oh, yeah. I remember that one. The the torch from one place to another. It's pretty cool. Like people, they try to outdo each other. Each host city tries to outdo the last. I think Montreal is the one that has has everybody beat. Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, let me go on.
So in 1976, Montreal hosted the Olympics and they figured out how to take the flame, transmit it into a radio signal. I'm still not sure how they do this, shot, that signal up to a satellite and then beam the signal back down from satellite to Canada where it lit. Another cauldron, another torch. So they basically transferred the the energy from the Olympic flame, shot it into space and then transferred it back to Earth and converted it back into flame.
No one's ever going to beat that.
I think that's cute that you bought that. Oh, well, OK, I guess, yeah, I hadn't really thought that you didn't see the guy, he was in the buggy.
He was also behind there punching the button. Yeah, the relay button. It is a thing for sure. And I hadn't really thought about that.
So if you do notice these people that are actually on the street carrying these things, you'll notice they have security. There's actually a medical team. There's plenty of media. They have extra torches on hand because they don't want that thing to go out on camera. And eventually it's going to make its way to the Olympic Stadium where the big secret, you know, they keep it a big secret. Now, who that final individual is going to be very much kept a lid on because you don't want that getting out, because that's the big moment and that's always a big deal, whoever they choose for that final person to light the cauldron.
And there have been a lot of big, big moments throughout the years. And I think Atlanta's when they came in there, Janet Evans, she didn't even know who she was going to hand it to and outcomes. Muhammad Ali, that was really one of the great Olympic moments.
I've watched it again today. And it's like, why am I crying with me? It is amazing to hear that crowd when they figure out who it is at first.
And apparently no one no one knew, like maybe it was Costas who was doing the probably Costas. Yeah, I think it was because he hadn't gotten Pinki that year. So he was still good to be the commentator. It was Costas and somebody else. And they they they didn't know apparently. And I guess Dick Ebersol, who was a longtime NBC executive. Have you read that book live from New York about Saturday Night Live?
No, but I knew that he was he took over for a little while.
Yeah. He figures big in there. And I can't remember if he did a good job or bad job, but I have a good impression of him. So I think he did get. But anyway, he figures big into that book and that book is definitely worth reading. It goes up to maybe the mid to late 80s from the start to the mid to late 80s. And it's all just like behind the scenes interviews and gossip and oral history of of the whole thing is really interesting.
But anyway, Dick Ebersol lobbied really hard to to get Muhammad Ali to be the guy because it was originally going to be Evander Holyfield. Yeah. And Holyfield actually ran it for about ten feet and then handed it off to Janet Evans. Yeah, they had to get him in there. Yeah. And then Janet Evans took it up this ramp and then all of a sudden it looks like Janet Evans is going to be the one to light it. And then all of a sudden at the top of the ramp, Muhammad Ali pops out and punches Janet Evans in the face.
And the crowd just goes like he's still got it.
Yeah, especially when he when he has it and he, like, holds it aloft and is trembling from with Parkinson's tremors and they just are going bonkers. It was it's just like you said, is probably the the all time great Olympic moment as far as America's concerned.
A few other highlights. And Barcelona, 92, who can forget Paralympic archer Antonio Ravello. That's a great one. He shot that fiery arrow. That was pretty sweet.
I can't believe he made it to like the just the what they gambled on that, you know, he could have missed it could have gone out and it didn't. And he made it and it lit the cauldron. And it's just beautiful.
Well, it actually didn't light the cauldron, but that was the police stop dashing the Olympic torch in the ignition button because you can't take that chance.
You know, I'll tell you what, Chuck, when I formed my weird little Olympic torch website, I'm going to be blocked. It's going to be all fantasy. None of this behind the scenes trickery, grittiness. It's just going to be face value stuff. 64 Tokyo.
When they hosted their first games, they had the Hiroshima baby, a.k.a. Yoshinori Sarki was born on August six, 1945, the day Americans dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. He was nineteen years old at the time he lit that thing. What about the soul and those cooked doves? That was rough, man, I did I wasn't aware of that until we were researching this. Were you? I don't remember that.
I mean, I certainly watch the games that year, but I was probably too young to understand that those doves did not make it out alive.
Dude, it's yeah. I put my hand in my mouth like, oh, my God, I can't believe I just saw that was awful. But they so they released the doves as part of the opening ceremony and then some of the doves gathered in the cauldron.
And it's not funny. I don't know why I'm laughing.
No, it's sad, but there's a certain element to it that's funny. But in the worst way, you know what I mean? And the three people whose job it was to light the Olympic cauldron with their torches. They did. And some of the birds didn't fly away.
And you can see some of them sort of dancing in the flame.
It's that part's awful. But the whole idea of the thing is, is so preposterous and contrary to what they're trying to do with the Olympic spirit that they sacrifice some doves.
Yeah, that was tough to watch. So then there's one more there's a bunch worth mentioning, but it's worth watching again is Lilyhammer, 1994, where Stijn Grubin, as a ski jumper, skis down a ski jump, 70 meters, which is quite a few feet, more than 70 meters. Well, it's the exact same as 70 meters, but in feet just going some ridiculous speed with the torch that won't go out and like, lands this jump just beautifully.
That was a little nerve racking, even knowing that it didn't go out. When I was watching it the other day, I was like, don't go out. Don't go out. Right.
Yeah. Because it looked like it could have it any moment. But no, it stayed stayed straight. And then let's see there there's a couple more worth mentioning. 1996, 2000 and 2014, the flame went to space, which is pretty cool. Let's not forget 1976, Montreal. And then it was on the Concorde once it flew on the Concorde and I believe 1992 for the Barcelona games. Amazing. So let's it for the Olympic torch, everybody.
We'll talk more about the Olympics someday when we do an episode on the Olympics. But in the meantime, hope you enjoyed this. And since I said that, it's time for listen to me.
I'm going to call this check.
Check your privilege. Did you see this one? Yeah. Hey, guys, this is in reference to your WASP podcast. Great information. Love the podcast. But at the end, it was almost amusing that you assumed people had the means to hire a professional to remove a wasp nest from their property.
I said almost almost amusing.
Equally amusing, which I guess is equally almost amusing is the idea of fashioning a kind of trap. I don't remember that part. Did you say that?
I don't know. I say a lot of things risk being stung dozens of times. For what? Guys, I don't think you should be shoving Peter style in quotes, nonlethal rhetoric down people's throats, nay saying the killing of vermin and pest, especially when your solutions don't accommodate outside the middle class. Pretty sure there are poverty stricken individuals that love to learn and love this podcast as well. You very well could be unintentionally alienating them into thinking that they are being inhumane when in fact they have no choice.
Think bigger picture, Chuck. That is from James Huggins.
I didn't mean to do that, James. I'm sorry. I, I, I think the overarching message was leave it alone, don't do anything to it. Don't spend money. I've never paid money to have a watch this removed.
Do you know, Chuck, I have to tell you, just yesterday I was challenged to to live up to my own words and there was a wasp in our screened porch and I had a fly swatter. It was trying to just lightly move it out. I was like, I'm not going to kill you. I'm not going to kill you.
I can't know what that thing is. He wouldn't No one, he wouldn't come after me. So we proved that wasps are not necessarily super aggressive like they have a reputation for. Right.
But then he wouldn't he also wouldn't make his way toward the open door. Right. So I thought of this ingenious method. I grabbed like a little bowl which virtually anyone on Earth can afford, put the ball over the wasp so that it was trapped between the bowl and the screen. Then I took the first order and I split it up between the bowl and the screen to create a cover for the bowl and then ran that thing right out of the porch, remove the fly swatter from the bowl and the wasp flew away like I have a good day.
Amazing. That's Emily's method. She gets like a magazine and a like a Tupperware for. The beast works pretty well. Yeah, and that's not elitist. No, it's not like I don't disagree with James's overall message. I think it was more his delivery.
That's a little, you know, you know, needs work. Sure.
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