The biggest question on everyone’s lips about the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro is whether or not they will be a huge disaster like Sochi. But at least we now know that the torch will be pretty neat, automatically expanding to reveal a series of coloured sections as soon as it’s lit.
The animated design almost looks like the handiwork of Tony Stark, but it was actually realised by São Paulo-based design studio Chelles & Hayashi. As the flame is passed from one of the 12,000 torchbearers to the next, the torch expands to reveal five coloured clear resin sections. And along with the flame on top, they’re designed to represent the earth, sea, mountains, sky and sun, as well as the official colours of Brazil’s flag.
Made from recycled aluminium and resin, the 2016 Olympic torch weighs in at around 1.4kg and measures 63.5cm tall when closed, and about 70cm when expanded. Its triangular shape is meant to represent the three Olympic values of respect, excellence, and friendship, while the expanded sections that appear to be floating are supposed to symbolise the athletic efforts of all those competing.
The torch run leading up to the 2016 Olympic games in Rio officially gets under way in May of next year, and the flame is expected to travel some 16,000km by air, plus an additional 19,000km by road as it travels from Greece and throughout Brazil on its way to Rio.