Rio 2016 organizers unveil Olympic torch
Rio de Janeiro organizers unveiled the Olympic torch for the 2016 Games on Friday, saying it brings together ”movement, innovation and Brazilian flavor.”
Organizers said the torch’s design was inspired by Brazil’s ”nature, and the harmonious diversity and energy” of the Brazilian people.
The torch, crafted from recycled aluminum and resin with a satin finish, innovates with different segments that open up when the Olympic flame is passed from one torchbearer to another.
After expanding vertically, the segments will reveal ”the elements that add the Brazilian flavor,” with soil, sea, mountains, sky, and sun represented in the colors of the Brazilian flag – green, yellow, blue, and white.
The unveiling was made in a ceremony attended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in the capital of Brasilia.
Organizers said the Olympic spirit is present in the torch’s texture with triangles running the length of its body alluding to the three Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, and in the floating effect of its different segments, referring to the efforts of the athletes.
”The design of the Rio 2016 torch was inspired by the Olympic spirit, our country’s nature, and the harmonious diversity and energy of our people,” said Beth Lula, the brand director for the local organizing committee. ”We used the specific stroke of the Rio 2016 brand to design the torch’s contours.”
About 12,000 torchbearers will carry the Olympic flame across some 300 cities and towns in the 26 Brazilian states and the federal district. The relay is expected to kick off in May in Brasilia and will continue for about 100 days. The torch will travel nearly 20,000 kilometers (12,400 miles) of Brazilian roads and fly some 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) over the north and mid-west parts of the country.
”We want to show the world the chemistry that we believe will be born when the Olympic flame meets the warmth of the Brazilian people,” local organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman said.
The design was created by Sao Paulo-based design studio Chelles & Hayashi, which won a tender over more than 70 agencies.
Each torch weighs between 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) and 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) and measures 63.5 centimeters (25 inches) when contracted and 69 centimeters (27 inches) when expanded. Organizers said lightweight materials were used to improve the experience of the torchbearers, as well as a design that induces a grip closer to the torch’s center of gravity.