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Russian designers create Sochi Olympic torch on national patchwork traditions

October 06, 2013, 13:22 UTC+3

The design concept is based on a contrast between tradition and modernity

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, October 6 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow hosted a gorgeous presentation of the inalienable components of the 2014 Olympic Games Torch Relay -- the Olympic and Paralympic torches -- at the beginning of the year, on January 14.

The both torches are identical in shape and size and differ only in colour as the Olympic torch is coloured in red and silver while the Paralympic one, in sky-blue.

The most recognisable image of the Sochi Olympics - a patchwork quilt embroidered in accordance with the best folk traditions of Russia’s constituent peoples and ethnic minorities - was taken as a basis for the torch design, Russia’s Olympic Committee says on its website.

The design concept is based on a contrast between tradition and modernity. “The Sochi 2014 torch design presents themes from Russian fairy tales and bylinas (heroic narrative poetry) so familiar to each Russian since his childhood blended with the latest know-how,” the chairman of the 2014 Sochi Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said then. “It has always been in front of your eyes throughout all these years encrypted in the mosaic of a patchwork quilt. And it also conceals far more secrets that we are going to disclose later.”

The torch has the shape of a feather of a magic bird bringing luck and happiness, the symbol so well-known to any Russian from fairy tales about the Zhar-Ptitsa (Firebird) or from legends about the phoenix.

A team of designers led by Vladimir Pirozhkov and Andrei Vodyanik created these Olympic symbols giving all their possible consideration to the engineering structure of the torch to provide its unstoppable burning in conditions of rarefied air, strong winds, frosts and other tricks of the Russian winter.

The torch body is cast of aluminium alloy. It is of light silver colour and has a fine matt surface.

Its upper part is encrusted with emblems of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The handle and central decorative panel are cast from transparent polymer with high resistance qualities. The component parts are covered inside with ultra glossy paint of deep hues - red for the Olympic torch and sky-blue for the Paralympic.

The torch weight is about 1.8 kilo, the height - 0.95 metre, the width -0.145 /the widest measurement/ and the gauge - 0.54 metre. The weight and centre of mass are calculated and adapted to be the most convenient for torch carriers while running.

The torch and its component parts passed all the necessary tests in the harshest possible conditions.

Russia’s Olympic Committee says on its website 14,000 Olympic torches and over 1,000 Paralympic torches are due to be manufactured.

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