Olympic torch unveiled in one-year countdown to Beijing 2022
-- Beijing 2022 organizers unveiled an ethereal yet dynamic torch design to mark the one-year countdown to the Games.
-- The unveiling of the torch was yet another demonstration of China's smooth preparations for the 2022 Games, despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
-- The global sporting community has given Beijing 2022 a resounding vote of confidence.
Beijing will light the Olympic flame for a second time with a blazing ribbon after organizers unveiled an ethereal yet dynamic torch design to mark the one-year countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Thursday evening.
The torch, named as "Flying," debuted at a ceremony in Beijing's iconic 2008 Summer Games venue, the National Aquatics Center, marking the start of the 365-day countdown to the opening of the Games on February 4 next year.
The photo taken on Feb. 4, 2021 shows a countdown display at the Beijing Olympic Park in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
"To introduce the torch at the start of the one-year countdown, we expect to kindle the enthusiasm and anticipation for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games all around the world," said Wang Xiangyu, a deputy director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.
"The successful design of the torch has proved again that the Olympics always sets the stage for the integration of sports, culture, art and science," Wang said.
The handout picture released on Feb. 4, 2021 shows the design of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Torch. (Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee/Handout via Xinhua)
COMBINATION OF CHINESE CULTURE AND OLYMPIASM
The 2022 Olympic torch spirals upward to resemble two overlapping fluttering ribbons. The inner red ribbon evokes rising flames, with the outer one plated in silver to produce a striking contrast.
Beaming with dynamism and vitality, the two-tone torch presents a metaphor of ice and fire, symbolizing how it will bring light and warmth to the winter sports gala.
The torch features the Beijing 2022 emblem and the Olympic rings etched on its section, with patterns of clouds and snowflakes painted from the bottom up to the flame.
As the torch turns, the whirling red line hidden in the crack seems to stretch endlessly, representing mankind's relentless pursuit of brightness, peace, excellence and the values promoted by the Olympic Movement, said the Beijing 2022 organizers.
To honor Beijing's status as the world's first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, the 2022 torch features a similar design to the 2008 Games' main cauldron, which resembled a giant scroll, highlighting the legacy of the Olympic spirit in the Chinese capital.
The cloud patterns covering the handle also drew inspiration from the main visual element of the 2008 torch, according to the design team.
"By using the same color combination and by sharing similar artistic elements with the 2008 torch, we aim to extend auspicious greetings to the world as we did at the Summer Games and to showcase Beijing's rich Olympic culture," said Li Jianye, the designer for the torch's appearance.
Sharing the same structure and patterns, the torch for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, which was also unveiled on Thursday, features a different color scheme of gold and silver. The bottom of the torch is engraved with Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Braille.
Another design highlight allows both torches to lock into each other at the top when one bearer passes the flame to another during the Torch Relay, symbolizing Beijing 2022's vision to promote mutual understanding and respect between different cultures.
The final design was selected from 182 entries into a global competition launched in April 2020 and was approved by the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board on December 7.