About a fortnight back, the Olympic Games Organizing Committee invited Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for officially unveiling a uniquely designed Olympic Torch for next year’s Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro. The torch will be carried through hundreds of Brazilian towns from May next year before arriving at Rio’s iconic Maracana stadium on August 5, 2016 for the opening ceremony. According to one of the officials, the design of Olympic Torch drew inspiration from the Olympic spirit, Brazil’s national theme, its harmonious diversity and the tremendous energy of Brazilian masses. The Torch design makes it vertically expandable and when it opens, its horizontal segments will show the sky, mountains, sea and the ground that is represented by the world-famous Copacabana promenade. Of the many bids received for the torch’s creation, the selection panel decided to award the contract to Chelles & Hayashi of Sao Paulo. The torch has been crafted in satin finish from recycled aluminum and resin.
In a glittering ceremony in Brasilia on Friday July 3, 2015, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff unveiled the Olympic torch for 2016 Rio Games. The president said that the first ever Olympic Games in a South American city would bring honor and pride to the Brazilian nation. The president, who has recently lost her popularity ratings in the wake of serious economic crisis, added Brazil will rise to the challenge in organizing safe and successful Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. With just over a year left for world’s most important sporting event, the whole world has focused its attention on Brazil because of numerous adverse media reports on the preparation, timing of several events and security concerns. But the Brazilian president has promised that security would be the top priority for the grand event. She invited the world’s sports-loving community and thousands of fans, who travelled to Brazil for the football World Cup in 2014 and requested them to come back for the 2016 Rio Games.
The central design theme of the just unveiled Olympic torch is manifest in the warmth of the Brazilian people. In creating the moveable segments of the vertically expandable torch, the designers have embodied the colors of Brazil as the flame would be passed from one torchbearer to another. The weight of the torch ranges between 1-1.5 kg and its height is 63cm when contracted and 69.5 cm, when fully expanded vertically. The triangular shape of the torch alludes to the three Olympic Values; excellence, friendship and respect and the floating effect in the segments represents the efforts of the athletes.
76 Brazilian agencies offered their design in a nation-wide tendering process but the 11-member judgment panel unanimously selected the design of Chelles & Hayashi, a Sao Paulo-based creative studio. The 2016 torch relay is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Nissan, and Bradesco and it will be carried by nearly 1200 torchbearers, whose names are to be announced soon. The Olympic Torch will be lit at the traditional ceremony in Olympia, Greece in May before beginning a 100-day relay around the host country with each torchbearer carrying the Olympic flame to a distance of 300 meters. This will be the first time in recent memory that the torch-relay will not have the international legs. The Brazilian route will start in capital Brasilia before the torch is carried to 250-300 cities and towns across Brazil before arriving at Maracana for the opening ceremony of 31st Summer Olympic Games on August 5, 2016.