What makes Rio 2016 torch special?

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Rio de Janeiro, May 3 (IANS) At the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Greece last month, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said the flame was an eternal reminder that “we are all part of the same humanity”.

And the Rio 2016 torch reinforces that theory, perhaps more than any Olympic flame before it, reports Xinhua.

Predominantly white with blue and green waves inset in its upper half, the torch was due to start its Brazil journey in the capital Brasilia on Tuesday before traversing 300 cities across the country.

As the flame is passed between 12,000 runners, it will open out to reveal coloured segments that represent the diversity and vibrancy of South America’s largest country.

Made from recycled aluminium and resin with a satin finish, the torch weighs between 1 kilogram and 1.5kg and stands 69 centimetre tall when fully opened.

When lit, it expands into five segments with distinct colours, each representing unique features of Brazil, including its landscape, flora, fauna, people and culture.

The golden upper section represents the sun, which shines year-round in most of the country’s 27 states and territories.

Below it, the intense green represents Brazil’s lush vegetation, particularly the Atlantic rainforest that decorates Rio’s coastline.

Further down are two blue sections that form waves as they open, reflecting the sea which is synonymous with Rio’s landscape.

The final segments depict the ground, especially the undulating black and white pattern of Copacabana’s famous sidewalk.

Excellence, friendship and respect – the time-honoured values of the Olympic spirit – are represented by the torch’s triangular shape. The torch’s extending sections evoke the movements of athletes.

Apart from encapsulating Rio’s diverse and spectacular natural landscape, the torch’s various components that come together as one convey a sense of unity.

The torch is embossed with the Rio 2016 logo and the Olympic rings, which recognise the five continents of the world.

–IANS

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