The observance of the Olympic Truce, to suspend warfare, dates from the Olympics' ancient Greek origins, when it was needed to ensure safe passage of all athletes to and from the games. The release of doves as a symbol of peace was also a prominent, age-old feature in opening ceremonies — until several of them went up in flames after settling on the rim of the Olympic cauldron just before it was lit at the Seoul Games in 1988.
Andy Miah, a professor of culture, ethics and technology at the University of West Scotland, says one of the legacies of the Olympics will be a continued debate about identity and nationhood, and what it means to belong.
He notes that the "host-nation nationalism" that has been on such display during the games is unlike anything Britain has witnessed, and is particularly significant given that Team GB is composed of athletes from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Says Miah: "We can look at this as a catalyst for discussions of political identity — and about ourselves."
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