Olympic Torch Design
The prototype of the torch that will begin carrying the Olympic flame to Salt Lake City later this year was unveiled just yesterday in Washington.
(Feb. 21, 2001)------
There is only one right now. And it breaks new artistic ground
with its form that draws on a motif from nature. And it's the
creation of a home town design team.
The first Olympic torch relay, for the Berlin games in 1936,
used a simple torch-- a plain metal base which held the stick
on which burned the Olympic flame.
It was the first, and it did the job.
In the years since, each new Olympic torch has become an
important symbol not only of the games but also of the
places they are held.
The 2002 Olympic torch, unveiled yesterday, plays to 60
years of one-ups-manship.
Scott Givens/Creative Dir., Salt Lake Organizing Comm.:
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, WE HAVE A PIECE OF
GLASS, THAT'S ATOP THE TORCH. AND WHAT YOU'LL
SEE IS THE FLAME EMMANATING FROM THE BASE OF
THIS GLASS, AND COMING OUT OF THE TOP. AND
YOU'LL GET THE SENSE OF LIGHT THE FIRE WITHIN.
YOU SEE THE GLOW AND INSPIRATION COMING UP
To arrive at this icicle motif, SLOC turned to a design studio
just a block down Main Street.
Brent Watts, Creative Director of Axiom Design, said in the
creation of the torch, function follows form.
Brent Watts/Axiom Design: IT'S A SCULPTURE FIRST. BUT
IT'S A PIECE OF ART. THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT. AND
THEN ITS FUNCTION IS THAT IT'S A FLAME. AND WE'RE
WORKING THROUGH THOSE ISSUES NOW.
Watts and his design team had less than a month to create
the torch. At first, they roughed out a dozen designs, before
SLOC settled on this one.
A LOT OF THE TORCHES YOU'VE SEEN ARE VERY
MACHINED AND VERY MAN MADE AND WE WANTED
SOMETHING THAT SYBOLIZED A PIECE OF NATURE. SO
IT'S VERY ORGANIZE IN ITS SHAPE. WE THINK IT'S
GOING TO BE A GREAT TORCH.
IT'S A REAL HONOR TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH IT. AND
WHAT IT REPRESENTS. IT REPRESENTS WHAT WE LIKE
TO REPRESENT, AND THAT IS DOING THE BEST WORK.
Pyrotechnical engineers still must craft the inner workings of
the torch, with a switch and gas canister that feeds the
Scott Givens of SLOC says as many as 10,000 of the
prototypes will be made. Every lucky torch bearer will have a
chance to buy one.