Olympic Torch Design

Olympic Torch Design

So I’m fairly interested in the torch design this year for a couple reasons. One, I think it’s a very cool design and I love the cloud pattern featured on the upper part of the torch. Two, my girlfriend was actually a torch runner several years ago and they have one in their house. Pretty sweet!

This year the torch has come under fire as a publicity potential for Free-Tibet protesters in San Fransisco and Paris. They even had to cancel the relay in Paris due to thousands of protesters that slowed the relay to a stop-start crawl who were all pissed off over China’s human rights record and its grip on Tibet.

Now that you’re a bit familiar with the political upheaval the torch is the center of this year, let’s look at the torch itself and it’s design and why it looks the way it does.

Olympic Torch Design

A PC manufacturing company from China named Lenovo is responsible for the torch’s design this time around. The design for the torch came when Lenovo was trying to decide how to cram 5,000 years of Chinese history into a single concept. One contribution, and potentially one of the single greatest contributions China has made to the world was the invention of paper. Thus the torch’s scroll-shape was born.

It took 10 months of work by over 30 designers to come up with Lenovo’s official submission to China’s torch-design contest last year. In the end, the company’s design was good enough to beat out 388 other submissions from around the world. Considering they make bland black Thinkpads (even though they’re now offering an Olympic-themed notebook), winning the torch-design contest is a pretty good accomplishment!

There are some pretty stringent standards that the torch must meet. For starters it must be able to burn at the top of Mount Everest and must pass all kinds of weather-condition tests. The torch burns propane, which Lenovo chose because it is a low-cost energy source that leaves behind only carbon dioxide and water after burning. The torch was made to withstand winds of up to 65 km/hour, and must produce a bright, stable flame that can easily be seen even in bright, sunny conditions. Then there’s the fact that people actually have to carry the thing while running. The designers chose to use a lightweight polished aluminum-magnesium alloy for most of the torch’s construction. All told, the torch measures about 30 inches long and weighs a little over two pounds.

What’s with the pattern? Lenovo’s team also decided to incorporate clouds and a deep red color used on the gates of the Forbidden City and in many other Chinese works of art.

The torch started it’s route in March and will arrive at its final destination in Beijing on August 8, 2008 to mark the start of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Source: Lenovo.com
Images: Google Images!

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