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In May 1934, the International Olympic Committee gave its approval to the idea of transporting a flame from Greece to Berlin. The idea came from Carl Diem, Secretary General of the Organising Committee of the Games of the XI Olympiad.
The route passed through the capitals of each of the countries visited.
On 20 July 1936 in Olympia, for this first Olympic torch relay, it was already a parabolic mirror which concentrated the rays of the sun that was used to light the flame. In attendance, Baron Pierre de Coubertin gave a message to the torchbearers, wishing them an enjoyable run. At the same time as the ceremony in Olympia, festivities were also staged in front of the Town Hall in Berlin.
On 2 August, a flame was lit from that in the Olympic Stadium. It arrived in Kiel the next day, following a relay of 347 km with 347 torchbearers. It burned on a boat in the city’s bay, where the sailing events were held.
On 7 August, another flame was lit from the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium and carried to Grünau, the site of the rowing and canoe events. One hundred and ninety one groups of runners consisting of one torchbearer and two supporters each ran one after the other over 37 km.