The Torch
Australia Crest

Silver, white and blue in colour, the torch looks like a small elephant tusk with a hint of Boomerang , Harbour Bridge coathanger and Opera House sails. The layers of the torch are said to represent fire, water and earth.

Torch overlooking Circular Quay
Torch overlooking Circular Quay

Ron Clarke, the Olympian who carried the torch in Melbourne in 1956, said "It's quite light too, 1kg. In Melbourne I think it was 8kg."

Over 5,000 Australians will unite with former Olympians such as the great Herb Elliott and sponsors and officials to form a relay of 10,000 runners to take the torch from Uluru around Australia to Sydney. The flame will land at Uluru (Ayers Rock) on June 8th, 2000, and will reach Sydney on September 15th, 2000, when the Olympic flame will be lit at the opening ceremony at Stadium Australia.

A fresh torch will be used for each of the relay legs - from 500 metres to 1 kilometre - and the bearers will have the option of buying the torch they have carried for $300.

Torch Relay - 1956
Torch Relay - 1956

The torch will travel 16,000 kilometres by road, 9,500 km by air, and 1,500 km by rail. It will pass within 1 hour's drive of 85% of Australia's population.

The torch is made from stainless steel and textured and anodised aluminium, stands 72cm. high and includes a fuel canister to keep the flame alight for 20 minutes. The flame has been tested to stay alight under a tropical downpour and to withstand winds of up to 65 km. per hour.

On its journey around Oz the flame will be underwater on the Great Barrier Reef, be on a surf boat at Bondi Beach, be on a Royal Flying Doctor Service plane, be on the Indian Pacific train across the Nullarbor Plain and even be on a camel at Broome.

The torch will be lit at ancient Olympia in Greece on May 12th, 2000.

Tradition dictates that the Torch's journey should begin on foot so on June 8th, 2000, Nova Peris-Kneebone will begin the journey at Yulara, near Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory.

G.A. & L. Harrington and Sydney design company Blue Sky Design won the contract to design and make the 12,000 torches and 188 flame cauldrons needed for community celebrations during the relay around the nation.

The torch was designed by Mark Armstrong who blended elements of Australia and life in the Olympic city to form our latest icon, the Olympic Torch.

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