POSTED: July 4th 2015

Rio 2016 unveils Olympic Torch and first list of Olympic Torch Relay cities

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch © Rio 2016
Rio 2016 Olympic Torch © Rio 2016

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay map © Rio 2016
Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay map © Rio 2016

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch design was unveiled in Brasilia and brings together Brazilian flavor, movement, and innovation. The design reflects the first Olympic Games to be held in South America, an unprecedented meeting between the legendary Olympic flame and the warmth of the Brazilian people. The essence of such a meeting will be carried throughout the country during the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola, Nissan, and Bradesco.

The torch's texture embodies the Olympic spirit while the three Olympic values of respect, excellence, and friendship are present in the triangles running the length of the torch. The different segments of the torch create a floating effect, referring to the efforts made by the athletes.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch has a creative and innovative feature that allows the segments to move. These parts can open up and expand vertically when the Olympic flame is passed between torchbearers. The expanded sections reveal the Brazilian flavor elements of contagious energy, exuberant nature, and harmonious diversity, with the sea, soil, the sun, the mountains, and the sky represented in the Brazilian flag colors, which are also present in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games' visual identity.

"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. We used the specific stroke of the Rio 2016 brand to design the torch's contours. Its horizontal segments, once open, reveal the sky, mountains, sea and the ground, represented by the promenade of Copacabana," expressed Rio 2016 Brand Director, Beth Lula

A nationwide competitive tender was conducted for the design of the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch and 76 agencies responded. It was concluded with a meeting by a multidisciplinary Judging Panel. The panel was comprised of 11 members who all had been recognized for their contribution to the Olympic Movement or their expertise in product design. Chelles & Hayashi, a Sao Paulo-based design studio that was established by Gustavo Chelles and Romy Hayashi 21 years ago, was unanimously selected by the panel. Once chosen, the winning design was refined and finished in collaboration with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.

Each torch will be created from recycled aluminum and resin with a satin finish. The torches will each weigh between 2.2lbs (1kg) and 3.3lbs (1.5kg) and will stand 25 inches (63.5cm) high when contracted and when expanded it will be 27.2 inches (69cm) high. To make the experience for the torchbearers, the best it can be, the lightweight materials, and design induces a grip closer to the Torch's center of gravity.

Coinciding with the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch unveiling, the first list of cities on the Olympic Torch Relay route has been revealed. The list confirms Rio 2016's commitment to spreading the Olympic spirit across the entire country and involve the whole population in the Games.

This announcement pinpoints the daily finish locations that will be reached by the Olympic flame each day of the Relay, except technical breaks or special photos event days. The regular finish areas were selected so that the Olympic flame could reach as many of the Brazilian population within the estimated duration of the Relay. The Olympic flame should arrive in the capital city of Brasilia sometime in May of 2016 and is set to kick off its journey in the capital.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 President, stated, "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. It would be impossible to mount such a logistical plan without working together with the governments and their public servants, such as in security, traffic control, and public order. Some cities will also organize celebrations to mark the end of the Torch Relay every day."

After the traditional Olympic flame lighting ceremony, which takes place in the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games, the Greek city of Olympia, the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay will last between 90 and 100 days. The flame will be carried by around 12,000 torchbearers. It will travel approximately 12,427 miles (20,000 kilometers) on Brazilian roads and fly 10,000 miles (16,093 kilometers) over the Midwest and North part of the country, between Teresina and Campo Grande.

The Olympic Torch Relay will come to an end on at the Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016, when the final torchbearer lights the Olympic Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony.

At the beginning of next year, the final list of route cities will be unveiled. The convoy is expected to visit 500 towns and cities, 300 of which will host the Olympic Torch Relay and the other 200 will cheer on the convoy. It's estimated that the Olympic flame will reach 90% of the country's populations in Brazil's 26 states and the Federal District.

The public campaigns to select the lucky torchbearers to carry the Olympic Torch and the Olympic Flame will be announced over the following two months by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee and Coca-Cola, Nissan, and Bradesco, the Presenting Partners of the Rio 2016 Torch Relay.

Visit the official website of the Olympic Torch is for more detailed information.  

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Rio 2016 · Olympic

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