HELSINKI 1952

  • Date of Lighting: June 25, 1952
  • Colour of the torch: brown, silver
  • Height: 59cm
  • Weight: 600gr
  • Number of torches: 22
  • Number of torchbearers: 3.372
  • First torchbearer: Christos Panagopoulos (civilian)
  • Last torchbearer: Paavo Nurmi
  • Countries crossed: Greece, Denmark, Sweden and Finland
  • Kilometres: 7.870

Helsinki Games were the ones with the fewer torches.

Only 22 torches were produced at the time and it is still really hard for avid Olympic torch collectors to find one. After been lit in Ancient Olympia from High Priestess Xanthippe Picheon-Theologiti, the flame embarked on its trip, crossing Athens and flying to Copenhagen.

It also went far way to the Arctic Cycle, where the Lapps had the chance to see it crossing their land. Ville Porholla was the first torchbearer in Finland. The person who was appointed to light the flame -designed by Finnish Aukusti Tuhka- in the stadium was a secret for a long time and everyone was waiting for a kind of surprise. Until the opening ceremony, who would light the flame was the main issue of discussions throughout the country. Only then, Finnish would learn the identity of the last torch runner.

When time had come for the opening ceremony to begin, the electronic board at the Olympic stadium in Helsinki read: “The Olympic Flame has just arrived to our stadium from Greece. The sacred flame will be lit up on the altar by the hands of… Paavo Numi.” All at once, suspense turned into cheers, as Numi was the most popular Finnish athlete.