The Olympic Flame and Apostolic Succession
When trying to explain apostolic succession, I’ve often linked the concept to inheritance, i.e., property, the family farm or business that has been handed down generation to generation. However, presently while watching the 2020/21 Olympic Ceremony, I think contrasting the Olympic Flame might be a better analogy.
The origin of the flame is a legend. The flame is said to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus and given to the people. In ancient Greece, every four years at the start of the games, a fire was lit to honor Zeus and his wife, Hera. The current Olympic flame is ignited in front of Hera’s temple every four years. 
This tradition was reintroduced for the 1928 Summer Olympics and in 1936 for the Winter Olympics. Nowadays, the Olympic Torch is ignited several months before the start of the next games. Eleven women representing vestal virgins (virgins guarding the flame in the temple of the goddess Vesta), light the torch. The Olympic Anthem is sung and then the anthem of the country hosting the Olympic games. The fire is kept aflame and travels by various methods to the forthcoming games, via plane, boat, runners, etc.
Impressive as this Olympic tradition may be, it pales when contrasted to the Roman Catholic tradition of Apostolic Succession. Catholics believe that Jesus handed down His authority to His Apostles, and the apostles handed down this authority to the first bishops, and the first bishops to the following bishops, and so on.
Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world.
The apostles passed on this authority. One of the first deeds the apostles performed after Pentecost was to appoint another apostle and confer/ordain him. Matthias was chosen.
Visibly we see the apostolic succession when the Bishop lays his hands on the individual to be ordained. Catholics are familiar with the “laying of hands.” We see this gesture at healing masses, ordinations, and special blessings. It is through the bishops’ authority that the grace of the sacrament is passed down to our ministers.
From Jesus to the present time, apostolic succession has been passed on. That’s longer that the Olympic flame and more infinitely more precious.