With a year to go, Beijing unveils 2022 Games torch
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 Winter Olympic Games on Thursday.
The torch, named “Flying,” was showcased 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 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.
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.
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.
Using a combustion system developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the torch’s flame, fueled by eco-friendly hydrogen, was designed and has undergone rigorous testing to burn reliably in all weather conditions and to withstand strong winds and extreme low temperatures.
Made of carbon-fiber materials, the torch is light in weight and resistant to high temperatures.