Peace-themed torch unveiled for Paris 2024 Olympics
PARIS (Reuters) – The design of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic torch was unveiled on Tuesday, imitating the reflection of the Eiffel Tower on the ruffled surface of the Seine river and conveying a peaceful energy, its designer said.
Creator Mathieu Lehanneur said the rounded torch was symmetrical from top to bottom and through 360 degrees, its soft curves representing peacefulness and its symmetry standing for equality between athletes.
Made with a lightweight polished steel and with a champagne colour, the torch’s lower half features a relief pattern that mimics the movement of the Seine, along which the opening ceremony will be held before more than half a million spectators.
Lehanneur said he hoped the torch conveyed a visual representation of the sporting event Paris 2024 wants to deliver.
“I wanted to move away from the torch appearing as an object of conquest,” designer Mathieu Lehanneur told a news conference a year ahead of the Paris Games, adding that designing the torch proved infinitely more technical than he imagined at the outset.
“The magic is not the torch itself, but the flame.”
The torch will be lit at Greece’s ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Games on April 16, marking the countdown to the Games in the French capital that begin on July 26 next year.
It will arrive in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille on May 8 and pass through cities and sights including Strasbourg, the Pantheon in Paris and the Mont Saint-Michel before a relay in some of France’s overseas territories.
Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet called the torch “very, very beautiful.”
“It’s very pure. It’s perfectly balanced in the hand.”
(Reporting by Louise Dalmasso; Writing by Richard Lough, editing by Pritha Sarkar)