World's greatest sports tradition: The lighting of the Olympic torch

There are plenty of special traditions in sports. In Chicago, Cubs fans sing "Take me out to the ball game," during every seventh inning stretch. In Columbus, the Ohio State Marching Band has a different person "dot the i," each time "Script Ohio" is performed. There are enough traditions at American colleges, and European football matches to make anyone's head spin.

There is only one specific tradition in sports that brings the entire world together though, the lighting of the torch at the Opening Ceremony.

The torch lighting symbolizes, at least for a few weeks, that the entire world is unified on the playing field. The only other event in the world that comes close to bringing everybody together like this in my mind is the World Cup, but there is no specific tradition in place at the tournament that holds the significance of the Olympic torch.

Every time I watch the torch ceremony I get goosebumps. The moment is so powerful each time it happens because it's as if every single eye in the world is watching the flame ignite. Since the Opening Ceremony (of the Summer Games) only takes place once every four years, that singular event carries even more weight and drama.

I can't wait to see what's in store for tonight. What do you think? Do you agree with me? Is the lighting of the Olympic torch the greatest tradition in sports?

Photo via Getty Images

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