With only 396 days to go for the most anticipated sporting event since London hosted a record breaking Olympic Games in 2012, Brazil is preparing to light up the stage with a magnitude of celebrations –Brazilian style.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff unveiled the iconic Rio 2016 Olympic torch over the weekend at a ceremony in Brasilia; the design of which has been described as “Simple, but beautiful”.
12,000 people will be chosen to carry the Olympic torch through 300 Brazilian cities next year in the 100 days leading up to the event. Each person will carry the 1kg – 1.5kg, recycled aluminium and resin torch 300 metres in the relay which will begin in the Brazilian capital in May 2016.
In her interview, Ms Rousseff said that the Games would bring “honour and pride” to the country and stated that Brazil will “rise to the challenge and will organise a safe and successful Games”.
One of its main innovations of the torch’s design is the movement of segments, which open up and expand vertically when the Olympic flame is passed from one torchbearer to another. This is known as “the kiss of the torches”.
Its segmented design also reveals the elements that add the Brazilian flavour – diversity, energy and nature – represented by the sea, mountains, sky and sun, and the colours of the Brazilian flag. “The design of the Rio 2016 torch was inspired by the Olympic Spirit, our country’s nature, and the harmonious diversity and energy of our people,” said Beth Lula, Rio 2016’s brand director.
Although there is still much to do before the lead up to the Games with members of the International Olympic Committee expressing their concerns over the delays in works, Rousseff says “we are confident that we can meet the challenges before us” and ensures that Brazil will “put on a historic Olympics.”
Until then, the next few months will see Rio 2016 and the torch relay partners – Coca-Cola, Nissan and Bradesco – announce public campaigns to select the torchbearers to deliver an honourable ceremony through the cities of Brazil, the first South American Country to host the Olympics.