London 2012 Olympic Torch – XXX Olympiad London 2012
The Torch was designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who won the opportunity through a competitive tender run by the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Design Council.
The triangular-shaped Torch was inspired by a series of ‘threes’ that are found in the history of the Olympic Games and the vision for the Olympic Movement:
- The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship;
- The three words that make the Olympic motto – faster, higher, stronger;
- The fact that the UK has hosted the Olympic Games in 1908, 1948 and will host them for the third time in 2012; and
- The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three bodies of work – sport, education and culture.
More than half of the London 2012 Torchbearers are expected to be young people aged as young as 12, so the designers aimed to make the Torch as light as possible.
It is made from an special aluminium alloy developed for the aerospace and automotive industry. The alloy is lightweight but strong, with excellent heat resistance. The 8,000 circles also reduce the weight of the final design, whilst ensuring strength isn’t compromised. The Torch weighs 800 grams.
The gold colour embraces the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines.
Things you might not have known about the Olympic Torch
- The Olympic Flame, Torch and Relay draw on a history going back to the ancient Olympic Games in Greece.
- A very precise ritual for the lighting of the Flame is followed at every Games. It is lit from the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, in a traditional ceremony among the ruins of the home of the ancient Games.
- After a short relay around Greece, the Flame is handed over to the new Host City at another ceremony in the Panathenaiko stadium in Athens.
- The Flame is then delivered to the Host Country, where it is transferred from one Torchbearer to another, spreading the message of peace, unity and friendship. It ends its journey as the last Torchbearer lights the cauldron at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, marking the official start of the Games.
- The Flame is extinguished on the final day of the Games, at the Closing Ceremony.