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Olympic torch fires up own Twitter account

What’s this? A torch with a Twitter account? Well, at least we can expect some illuminating musings, or possibly a few hot pics. Corny jokes aside, we learned on Thursday that a torch – the Olympic torch, no less – has indeed opened its own Twitter account, a first for this particular burning flame.

The verified account, which is going with the sensible username @OlympicFlame, is sending out messages from the traditional relay run, which is set to finish at the Olympic stadium in Rio, Brazil when the sporting extravaganza begins on August 5.

The 106-day relay is set to involve 12,000 torch bearers running nearly 12,500 miles (20,000 km) through more than 300 Brazilian cities, as well as across parts of Greece.

The ceremonial lighting of the torch took place at the ruins of ancient Olympia in Greece on Thursday. Debut tweet? “After spending years in the darkness I can’t wait to see the light of day again. Almost time to return.”

The special torch has only attracted 5,000 followers so far, but we’re pretty sure the account will spark into life over the coming weeks as more people get to hear about it. Followers can expect plenty of “flame facts” along the way, as well as lots of selfies and pictures of crowds welcoming the torch to their cities.

The first of the torch bearers was Greek gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias, who introduced himself in a short video tweeted by the flame.

The Olympic torch relay was started 80 years ago for the Berlin Games, and is based on a ceremony in Ancient Olympia where contests took place for more than 1,000 years.

Most torch bearers will run for about 200 meters with the flame. After six days in Greece, it’ll be flown to Brazil on May 3.

Besides Twitter, Olympic flame fans can also follow the torch’s journey on Vine and Periscope – so long as it doesn’t melt its smartphone when posting messages along the way, that is.

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