The torch for 2022 Winter Olympics, named “Flying”, was unveiled in Beijing on February 4, 2021. The design was selected from 182 entries in a global competition launched by the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (hereinafter the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee) on April 24, 2020.
The competition lasted for more than three months before the winning design was decided on July 31, 2020.
The optimization of the design involved a number of experts on burners, materials, industrial design and culture who worked together with the designer for one and a half months to improve the torch’s appearance and cultural connotation.
It was a process to pursue innovation and perfection based on increasingly enhanced understanding of the cultures related to the 2022 Winter Olympics. The work once came to a halt which, however, was broken with inspiration from a leaf.
According to Lin Cunzhen, an expert from the Culture and Ceremonies Department of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee, the designers decided to pursue natural beauty after being inspired by a beautiful leaf found during a discussion,.
They worked out six designs for three torches, and the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee decided to choose “Flying” on September 22, 2020.
The torch features a design similar to the main cauldron for the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, highlighting the Olympic spirit’s legacy in the capital city. The torch spirals upward to create the image of two overlapping, fluttering ribbon-like flames. The cloud patterns covering the lower part of the handle symbolize auspiciousness, and the paper-cut-like snow patterns above the cloud patterns are a symbol of ice and snow sports.
One of the design highlights allows two Olympic torches to lock into each other at the top when torchbearers exchange the flame during the Olympic Torch Relay, as a token of exchange and fusion of different cultures, which is a vision of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The torch also boasts a two-tone design. The torch for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games is in red and silver, a metaphor for fire and ice, symbolizing how it will light people’s passion around the world for ice and snow sports, and the hope for future, peace and excellence.
Sharing the same structure and pattern, the torch for the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games features a different color scheme of gold and silver, a manifestation of the Paralympic values, which are “courage, determination, inspiration and equality”, and a symbol of glory and dreams.
The design had undergone a public appraisal by representatives from different walks of life before its unveiling, and received positive response. It was approved by the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board on December 7, 2020.
“The design is eco-friendly, high-tech-based and in line with the pursuit of sustainability,” said Wang Xiangyu, deputy director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee.
The torch’s flame is fueled by eco-friendly hydrogen which enables the flame to burn reliably in all weather conditions and to withstand strong winds and extremely low temperatures.
The shell and fuel pipe are made of carbon-fiber materials developed by petroleum and chemical giant Sinopec so that the torch is light and resistant to extreme temperatures.
The design embraces the Chinese philosophy of “following nature’s course to pursue harmony between man and nature”, manifesting the Chinese nation’s open-mindedness and optimism for a more prosperous future.
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