London Unveils 2012 Paralympic Torch

Paralympic Torch 2012The London Organizing Committee (LOCOG) has unveiled the 2012 Paralympic torch. The torch was designed with a mirrored finish so that its color will adapt to its surroundings. The torch also reflects light from the flame and shines on the torchbearers who will carry it and the communities it travels through on the Paralympic torch relay.

London-based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby developed a design emphasizing innovation. The three-sided form represents multiples of three, which is a unifying theme across London 2012, including the Agitos, the symbol of the International Paralympic Committee. The three Agitos encircle a central point to emphasize the role that the International Paralympic Committee plays in bringing together athletes from all over the world. The three sides of the Paralympic torch also encircle the Paralympic flame.

Other torch design features include the following:

  • The torch is made up of an inner and an outer skin held in place by a cast top piece and base.
  • Although appearing seamless, the torch body has six components.
  • A total of 8,000 circles feature a transparent design so that the burner system that keeps the flame alive can be seen.
  • The torch measures just over 2.5 feet tall.
  • The torch is made from an aluminum alloy for lightness and heat resistance.

This year, four flames will be lit for the Paralympic torch relay in London, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The four flames will be united at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville to create the Paralympic flame, which will then be carried to London. The 24-hour relay to London will take place overnight, running from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic stadium.

“I think it is brilliant that the actual Paralympic flame, that will be used to light the cauldron in the opening ceremony on Aug. 29, will be created at Stoke Mandeville, a place steeped in Paralympic history,” said Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee president. “The games are coming home in six months’ time, and it is only right that we celebrate the significance of Stoke Mandeville, the Paralympic movement’s birthplace.”

The selection process for the teams to carry the Paralympic flame is now under way. More than 3,500 people across the United Kingdom have been nominated.

Paralympic Torch Relay Events

Aug. 24 – London flame lighting event
Aug. 25– Greater Belfast area flame lighting event and flame festival
Aug. 26 – Edinburgh flame lighting event and flame festival
Aug. 27 – Cardiff flame lighting event and flame festival
Aug. 28 – Stoke Mandeville special ceremony to create the Paralympic flame; 24-hour relay begins
Aug. 29 – Paralympic flame arrives at the stadium for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games