This is not a metaphor: the Olympic Flame died as technicians were moving the cauldron to a new location in the stadium. Now they have to sacrifice 12 vestal virgins, six ping pong players and start war with the Persians.
Actually, they just sent Austin Playfoot, who was one of this year's Olympic torchbearers, on a cherry picker to relight it. It looked more ridiculous than majestic, but it did the trick.
According to millenary tradition, the flame has to burn in its cauldron for the duration of the game. It went out this Sunday, 11.14pm London time (8.14am AEST).
Thankfully, it was not extinguished by London's perpetual rain. It had to be extinguished for security reasons before the cauldron was moved to a new location. Before unceremoniously turning off the gas, they lit up the torch that was used by Mr Playfoot this morning to relight the cauldron.
The move follows strong criticism by British media, which has been hammering the organisers' decision to place the cauldron in a place where it can't be seen from anyone outside of the stadium — something that apparently has never happened in Olympic history. [Telegraph]