It's an honor that's been given to a 12-year-old schoolgirl and a Crown Prince alike.
Since the tradition began 86 years ago, torchbearers from around the world have helped carry a symbolic flame from Olympia, Greece, to the international city hosting the Olympic games, making for the ultimate worldwide relay.
Celebrities including Harry Potter's Rupert Grint and Star Trek's Patrick Stewart have escorted the light on one part of its journey. But one final torchbearer sets the Olympic cauldron ablaze, which fires up the Opening Ceremony and pays homage to the origin of the global event.
The tradition began in ancient Greece, where they honored the gods by lighting a flame at the altar. The flame was first introduced into the modern Olympics at the 1928 Amsterdam event, though the relay began in 1936 with 3,000 runners passing the torch into Nazi Germany for the Berlin games.
For last year's Tokyo Olympics, the flame was first lit in March 2020 and taken to Japan. However, before it began its tour around the host country, the games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The torch found a home at the Olympic Museum in Tokyo, before the race began again in March 2021.
All in all, about 10,000 relay participants transported the torch (designed to resemble a cherry blossom) to Tokyo, uniting under the theme "Hope Lights Our Way," according to NBC. At the Opening Ceremony, tennis star Naomi Osaka kicked things off by lighting the cauldron, which burst to life using hydrogen in order to offset carbon emissions.
For the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Chinese short track speed skater Li Jiajun had the honor of receiving the Olympic torch following the flame lighting ceremony, which was held on the archeological grounds of ancient Greece in October 2021.
China has since limited the torch relay to just three days, running from Feb. 2-4, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Per NBC News, participants carried the fiery torch through downtown Beijing, suburban Yanqing and the city of Zhangjiakou.
You can tune into NBC or Peacock to watch this year's Olympic flame light up the games on Friday, Feb. 4.
Here's look back at some of the torchbearers that have ignited the Olympic cauldron in decades past.
(E! News, NBC and Peacock are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)