The prototype of the London 2012 Olympic Torch showcases the best of British design, engineering and manufacturing talent
- Nominate your Torchbearer at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay
- 8,000 perforated circles in the design represent the 8,000 inspirational people who will carry the Olympic Torch
- The triangular form is inspired by multiples of three found in the vision and delivery of the Games
The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will take the Olympic Flame on an 8,000 mile journey across the UK next summer. From the start point of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay at Land’s End on 19 May 2012, an average of 110 people a day will take centre stage by carrying the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Earlier this year, east London-based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby won the competitive tender run by LOCOG and the Design Council that set the brief to design a Torch that reflects the celebratory nature of the Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympic Games.
The winning design connects the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to each of the 8,000 Torchbearers and their community. The Torch's triangular, gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 circles representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to their local community which will be celebrated during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Images of the London 2012 Olympic Torch can be downloaded here. B-roll footage is also available on request.
The design, engineering and manufacture of the Torch celebrates the best of British talent, with designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby working in partnership with Basildon based product engineers Tecosim and Coventry based manufacturers The Premier Group. Together they have developed the prototypes on show today and the processes for the mass production of the Torches that will start later this year.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: 'The Torch that carries the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Torch Relay is one of the most recognisable and significant symbols of an Olympic Games. Members of the public right across the UK are busy nominating inspiring people to be Torchbearers and I am thrilled we have a beautifully designed, engineered and crafted Torch for them to carry.
'Integral to the design are the 8,000 circles, a lasting representation of the Torchbearer stories of personal achievement or contribution to their local community that will be showcased with every step of the Relay.’
Ninety per cent of the 8,000 Torchbearer places will be made available to the public through a number of channels, including the four public nomination campaigns to be run by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners. The LOCOG 'Moment to Shine' public nomination campaign aims to find 2,012 inspirational members of the public to carry the Olympic Flame who have gone beyond their personal best. People can nominate a Torchbearer at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay
There will be further opportunities to get involved via the Presenting Partner programmes that launch in June 2011.
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby explained: 'Ever since we were young we have loved the Olympic Games. As designers, this is quite simply the best project going: to design an icon for the Games. We've wanted to be involved since July 2005 when we were celebrating winning the bid with the rest of the UK.
'We have worked hard to develop a Torch that celebrates the Relay, and reflects the passion for London and the Olympic Games. We wanted to make the most of pioneering production technologies and to demonstrate the industrial excellence available in the UK – it's a Torch for our time. This is our opportunity to represent the UK, in design terms, and we are incredibly proud to be doing so.'
Design: The Torch is made up of four key pieces – an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin perforated by 8,000 circles that are held in place by a cast top piece and base.
Representing the inspirational stories of the 8,000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame, the circles which run the length of the body of the Torch also offer a unique level of transparency – allowing people to see right to the heart of the Torch and view the burner system which will keep the Olympic Flame alive. The circles also help ensure heat is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle and providing extra grip. London 2012 Partner, BMW, have provided the use of their climatic testing facility for the Torch to be tested.
Shape: The Torch stands 800mm high. Its triangular form has been inspired by the identification of a multiples of three that are found across the vision and delivery of the Olympic Games:
- The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship
- The three words that make the Olympic motto – faster, higher, stronger
- The fact the UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times – in 1908, 1948 and 2012
- The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three strands of work – sport, education and culture.
Weight: The Torch weighs 800g.
Responding to a call in the brief to recognise the fact that more than half of the London 2012 Torchbearers are expected to be young people aged between 12 and 24, several design features have been implemented to produce what will be one of the lighter Olympic Torches. Crafted from an aluminium alloy, developed for the aerospace and automotive industry that is lightweight whilst having good tensile strength and excellent heat resistance, the 8,000 circles also reduce the weight of the final design whilst ensuring strength isn’t compromised.
Colour: The gold colour finish embraces the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines. The 8,000 Torches will have a gold-coloured finish that delivers an aesthetic beauty whilst having the ability to withstand the temperature of the Olympic Flame.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: 'This striking British design celebrates the role each of the 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers will play as local heroes in villages, towns and cities across the UK. The Torch is a focal point for every Olympic Games and London 2012 will be no different with the Torch Relay bringing the UK together as excitement builds ahead of the greatest sporting show on earth.'
Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate and London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board Member said: 'Elegant, light and understated, the 2012 Olympic Torch shows the flair and confidence of contemporary British design and manufacture.'
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Notes to editors
About the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners:
As the longest standing Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola will be using its heritage and experience to spread excitement across the UK ahead of London 2012. Coca-Cola's nomination campaign - Future Flames - focuses on finding inspirational young people from across the country to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame. Coke is calling on everyone across the UK to nominate and celebrate the Future Flames they know: young people who use their passions in areas like sport and physical activity, music and dance, and community and the environment; to spread happiness in their local communities. Nominations can be made at www.cokezone.co.uk until 05/09/11.
As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB will be taking the spirit and inspiration of the Olympic Flame right to the heart of communities across the UK. As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland will be the National Presenting Partner in Scotland. We will bring the Relay closer to our customers through our branches on practically every high street and our activities in the community, National School Sport Week and Local Heroes. The Bank is searching for hundreds of people who have made a difference in their community to carry the Olympic Flame. Nominations can be made online via www.lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame until 12 September 2011.
Samsung looks forward to recommencing its Presenting Partnership of the Olympic Torch Relay by providing citizens from the UK and around the world the opportunity to share the dynamic experiences of the London Olympic Games. For Athens 2004, under the theme of “Share the Experience,” Samsung was one of two Presenting Partners of the first ever global Olympic Torch Relay. For Torino 2006, Samsung provided a once-in-a-lifetime chance to run with the Olympic Flame to more than 1,900 people around the world in Italy. And as one of three Presenting Partners of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, 1,500 Samsung Torchbearers carried the flame. For the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay in particular, Samsung aims to leverage its role as a Presenting Partner to highlight its passion for youth and the future and encourage participants to join together in creating a memorable and inspirational journey.
The Supporting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay are:
Worldwide Olympic Partner Visa, Tier One Partners BMW, BT and EDF, Tier Three Providers Aggreko and Holiday Inn.
London 2012 Games partners:
As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-five domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, Next, The Nielsen Company, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster and Trebor.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Supplier, Otto Bock.
The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos Origin, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.