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The tradition of lighting the Olympic flame atop Greece's Mount Olympus and running it to the games' site was resurrected by Adolf Hitler for his 1936 Summer Olympic Games. It is ironic that this religion that purports to foster international peace and fellowship through athletic competition perpetuates symbolism created by Nazi Germany's Fuehrer.

Lighting the flame atop Mount Olympus is preposterous. Olympus is not the tallest mountain in the world or even in Europe. Many great mountains are more beautiful. The International Olympic Committee continues to light it there because of its place in ancient Olympic lore and Greek mythology. The IOC should get modern. The gods have probably been on top of Salt Lake's Mount Olympus as often as on Greece's Mount Olympus.Olympic flame worship is without scientific evidence. The sunlight is no more pure on the top of Mount Olympus in Greece than the sunlight on top of Salt Lake County's Mount Olympus. Once we ignite a flame, it becomes a different fire when its fuel changes.

When I consider all the money and volunteer effort wasted to run this flame from Los Angeles to Atlanta via the scenic route, I get angry. All the money and effort people have wasted on that flame could have done much good helping the poor or institute needed culture reforms.

I urge the organizers of Salt Lake City's Games of the XIX Winter Olympiad not to waste valuable time and resources on such an embarrassing spectacle. The sun on top of our Mount Olympus is as good as the sunshine on top of the Grecian Olympus. Light the fire on our Olympus and spend, at most, one day running it to Rice Stadium.

Rick Soulier