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Fourth-Place Medal

Where does the London Olympic torch sleep at night?

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Fouth Place Medal

LONDON — Each day of the Olympic torch relay features hundreds of honorees lugging the 800-gram aluminum icon from one London neighborhood to the next. The relays begin just past 9 a.m. and end in the evening, before the next relay team starts the journey anew the following morning.

But where, exactly, does the Olympic torch sleep at night?

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"It's a secret. It will go to a location within the community, where the relay team stays. We don't give away the location," said David Paul of the London 2012 press office.

"We obviously work very hard to create this fantastic illusion around the flame. The magic, as it were."

Well, it's not a total secret.

The location can be something as pedestrian as a hotel room, where members of the torch relay security team and Metropolitan police stay with it overnight.

Does the flame ever go out?

"That's the whole point of the relay," said Paul. "The flame never goes out."

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The "official" flame is kept inside a Humphry Davy lamp, invented in 1816 for the safety of miners. Along with the security team, there are "flamettes" who run with the lantern during the day. From the BBC:

Aged from 26 to 50, runners' day jobs vary from homicide command and domestic violence to aviation security and transport patrol.

They are tasked with ensuring the continuity of the Olympic flame, so as well as running alongside torchbearers, so-called "flamettes" protect a mother flame in a lantern during the day, while officers take turns to sleep with it in their rooms overnight.

Remember when the torch was snuffed out on the whitewater rafting course? The Humphry Davy lamp allowed it to flame-on.

So the Olympic torch, like the Stanley Cup during its travels, is under 24/7 watch by its own security team. Although we're not sure if the torch ever made it into Mario Lemieux's swimming pool. And we're not sure if the Stanley Cup ever appeared on "EastEnders."

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