Monthly Archives: March 2013

The (Sochi) Firebird Olympic Torch is Revealed in Moscow


The Sochi 2014 torch designers were tasked with conveying the concept of the Olympics Games, based on the idea of the convergence of Russian traditions and contemporary trends.

The torch resembles of a firebird feather, which is traditionally used in Russian fairytales to light the way; this “feather,” however, is made of cast aluminum alloy. The handle and central insert are molded from high-strength polymer. The torch weighs 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) and is 0.95 meters (3 feet) in length. Its center of balance is perfectly positioned to make it easier for torchbearers to carry. The torch is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions, especially high winds and frosts.

The only difference between the Olympic and Paralympic torches is their color; the Olympic torch is red, while the Paralympic torch is sky-blue, symbolizing the power and spirit of the Olympic movement.

State Street Ballet - Firebird publicity 6/25/12 Towbes Center for Dance

Olympic figure skating champion Tatiana Navka was the first to hold the brand new torch. “I think it’s so beautiful – red and silvery. I hope it will bring us luck in Sochi,” she said.

Also attending the ceremony were figure skater Ilia Averbukh, supermodel Natalia Vodianova and London Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist, Olesya Vladykina.

A total of 14,000 Olympic torches will be produced. A competition will decide who gets to carry the torch and wear the uniforms, which were especially designed for the participants of the Olympic relay.

“There will be no special terms for people who want to take part in the relay,” said Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee director, Dmitry Chernyshenko. “Anyone can take part.”

“The Sochi 2014 Olympic relay will involve more people and more locations than any other relay in the history of the Olympic movement,” Chernyshenko said. “It will run through 2,900 residential areas; we are designing the route so that 90 percent of the population will be able to come out and see the torch. The flame will be delivered to Elbrus, Lake Baikal and the North Pole. We also hope that it will travel to outer space.”


The Olympic torch relay: The facts

The lighting ceremony will take place in Greece, home of the Olympics. The torch will then be transported to Moscow in a special plane on October 7, 2013.

The Olympic relay will run through 2,900 residential areas, 83 Russian regions and all nine time-zones of the country – from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad.

Torchbearers will cover 65,000 kilometers (around 40,400 miles) in 123 days. There will be 14,000 torchbearers, and around 130 million Russians will have the chance to see the torch with their own eyes.

More than 30,000 volunteers will be involved. Each torchbearer will run between 200 and 300 meters (656-984 feet). The flame will travel 534 kilometers (330 miles) per day on average. The torches will be transported by air, train, road vehicles, traditional Russian troika and reindeer. The relay will finish in Sochi on February 2, 2014.

The Paralympic relay will travel through 50 Russian regions, from February 26, 2014 to March 7, 2014.

First published in Russian in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.


Leave a comment

Filed under Ancient Greece

The Countdown to the “Sochi” 2014 Olympic Games


Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be held in February 2014.

Sochi 2014 Website

Olympics 2014 Website

Leave a comment

Filed under Ancient Greece

Take a Look Back at the London Paralympics 2012


Harder Than You Think, by hip hop legends Public Enemy, provides the soundtrack for the film, which received rave reviews from the athletes when it aired.

When we bid to host the 2012 Games, we made a radical proposal to the International Organising Committee.  We weren’t only going to put on the biggest sporting event in the world; we were going to hold the world’s first truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving a legacy far beyond the departure of the Olympic Flame – London 2012 Website

The story behind the medal

Designed especially for each Games, the medals are what every athlete strives to win.

The medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will be awarded during the Victory Ceremonies taking places at venues across the UK.

More than 2,100 medals will be presented in 503 Victory Ceremonies.

The Paralympic Games medals have been designed by Lin Cheung, a practising jewellery artist and senior lecturer in Jewellery, and are in production at the Royal Mint headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales.


Inspired by the endurance, focus and achievement of elite Paralympic athletes, Lin Cheung has created a medal that not only represents the core values, beliefs and spirit of the Games, but that is also a desirable object, rich in elements of illustration, typography and texture.

One side of the medal represents ‘Spirit in motion’, the Paralympic motto, and features a close-up section of an outstretched wing of the Greek Goddess of Victory. This image represents forward flight, power and lightness, a metaphor for the spirit of the Paralympic Games.

The reverse of the medal represents ‘The heart of victory’. Symbolising inclusion and togetherness, it incorporates a direct mould from the heart area of the plaster cast of ‘The Nike of Paionios’, the Greek Goddess of Victory, residing in the British Museum Cast Collection.


Medal specification:

• The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold with the remainder copper (a minimum of 6g of gold)
• The silver medal is made up of 92.5% silver with the remainder copper
• The bronze medal is made up of 97% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin
The precious ore for the medals has been supplied by London 2012 sponsor Rio Tinto and was mined at Kennecott Utah Copper Mine near Salt Lake City in America, as well as from the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. For the small amount of non-precious elements that make up the bronze medals, the zinc was sourced from a mine in Australia as well as from recycled stock, while the tin originates from a mine in Cornwall.

How the designs were chosen

When creating the brief, the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) Victory Ceremonies team worked closely with the British Museum’s Keeper of Coins and Medals, Philip Attwood, to look at the symbolic history of medals in Europe in the last century.

An independent panel of Sir John Sorrel (chair), Sir Mark Jones, Catherine Johnson, Ade Adepitan (deputy chair), Iwona Blazwick OBE, Niccy Hallifax and Martin Green was set up to look at the designs submitted by over 100 artists. The LOCOG Athletes’ Committee, chaired by Jonathan Edwards, and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) were also involved throughout the process.


Claire Lomas lights the ceremonial cauldron in Trafalgar Square

Watch Videos of the London Paralympics  at the Sports TV Channel 

Look back at the Greatest Games Ever

 Channel 4 Website

Leave a comment

Filed under London Games