Olympic Flame Hoax


Olympic Flame Hoax

Seeing this iconic picture postcard of Ron Clarke lighting the Olympic cauldron at the M.C.G in 1956 reminded me of two bits of trivia.

Firstly, the well known fact that Ron Clarke had burnt his forearm while reaching in to light the flame, but the other bit of trivia is not so well known.

Flame Hoax


During the Sydney leg of the journey, the Mayor of Sydney was fooled when he accepted a fake torch from prankster Barry Larkin.



Barry Larkin, now a veterinary surgeon from Melbourne, planned to interupt the torch relay along with eight other students from St John's College, believing that the Olympic Flame received too much reverence.

The fake torch was hardly a master forgery, which makes the fact that it was passed off as the real deal all the more humorous. The fake was made using no more than a wooden chair leg that had been painted silver, holding at top a plum pudding can. As for the flame, which proved to be far from a reverent affair, this was created using a pair of underpants, soaked in kerosene.

After a shaky start, Larkin ran with the torch to Sydney Town Hall protected by police who thought that he was the official runner, where he presented the torch to the Mayor of Sydney, Pat Hills.

As the mayor was unprepared, he did not look at the torch and went straight to his speech. While Hills was talking, Larkin walked quietly away, avoiding attention. Hills didn't realise at all that the torch was fraudulent until someone whispered in his ear and told him it was a fake. Hills looked around for Larkin, but by now Larkin had merged into the crowd and escaped.

In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the media reported the story of Larkin's hoax. As a result, the police took measures to prevent the hoax from happening again. This included security guards lining the route. However, this was not popular as some people complained that they could not see the torch. Some hoaxers did try to disrupt the relay; two people attempted to steal the torch and one man tried to put out the torch using a fire extinguisher, but no-one succeeded.

1956 Olympic Flame Journey


The Olympic Flame for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne was lit at Olympia in Greece on the 2nd November 1956.

Greek runners took the flame to Athens where it was then transferred to a miner's lamp and flown by Qantas to Darwin in the Northern Territory. From there, a Royal Australian Air Force jet bomber flew it to Cairns, Queensland on 9 November 1956.

The first runner in Australia was Con Verevis, who was of Greek parentage, and then relayed down the east coast using diecast aluminium torches. The flame arrived in Melbourne on 22 November 1956 and used to light the stadium flame by Ron Clarke.



Melbourne Link Olympic Flame Hoax Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1956_Summer_Olympics Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Larkin_(Olympics) Link opens in new browser window






Link opens new page Content > View Category | Melbourne | View Mobile Friendly Page

Link opens new page This Page > Update | Edit This Page


Click here to edit / update this page







Stay Tuned | Free Newsletter


Want all the latest Melbourne events and activities straight to your inbox?

Subscribe to our FREE weekly newsletter below to keep up to date with all the best events & activities for Melbourne. Newsletters are sent once a week every Tuesday!

Email Address*:


Melbourne * Requires confirmation Read FAQ | Read This Week's Newsletter

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Instagram
See Events in June >
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30


Featured
The Kid's Magic Gala
View The Kid's Magic Gala
Starring the Festivals finest kids entertainers The festival’s finest family magicians join | Read On..


The Confidence Artist
View The Confidence Artist
Nicholas J. Johnson is a liar and a cheat. Join him for this crash course in con artistry as | Read On..


Meta Illusion with E G Lee
View Meta Illusion with E G Lee
ILLUSIONIST EG (Eun Gyeol Lee) has popularised Magic and lead the Magic genre in Korea since | Read On..


Joshua Jay - star of 'Fool Us' - Live Magic
View Joshua Jay - star of 'Fool Us' - Live Magic
Joshua Jay is one of magic’s most revered performers and creators, and he has appeared on stages in | Read On..


Klika | Australian Online Department Store
View Klika | Australian Online Department Store
Klika has over 6,000 products for shoppers covering everything from fitness equipment, tools, home | Read On..


This Is Magic!
View This Is Magic!
THIS IS MAGIC! Starring Tim Ellis and Natalie You’ll see a girl LEVITATE right before your | Read On..


A Fine Romance: The Magic of Fred Astaire
View A Fine Romance:  The Magic of Fred Astaire
‘Can’t sing, can’t act, slightly balding, can dance a little.’ After playing to full houses and | Read On..


The Eagles Story - Live
View The Eagles Story - Live
The legend that is The Eagles now lives on through The Eagles Story. In a musical landscape | Read On..


Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
View Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
Witness Impossible Occurrences, one of Melbourne's most exclusive attractions. Award winning | Read On..


Greek Tavern Night | Saturday Nights
View Greek Tavern Night | Saturday Nights
Melbourne's best traditional GREEK night with live music, entertainment, dancing and Mediterranean | Read On..


Check Out
Aladdin – The Musical
View Aladdin – The Musical
Disney’s ALADDIN is the must-see show of the year and “Broadway’s biggest new hit! (Entertainment Weekly) From the producer of The Lion King, the | Read On..

Circus Oz - Model Citizens
View Circus Oz - Model Citizens
20 JUNE - 16 JULY Under the BIG TOP Circus Oz returns to Melbourne for our annual Winter spectacle, presenting MODEL CITZENS under the heated | Read On..

Mel's Pick
Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers
View Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers
Behold the marvels of the invertebrate world as giant bugs take over Melbourne Museum! Inspired | Read On..

Van Gogh and the Seasons
View Van Gogh and the Seasons
Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2017 NGV - National Gallery of Victoria 28 April - 9 July 2017 | Read On..

Trending