Three angles of the Beijing 2022 Olympic torch

Beijing 2022 celebrates 1 year to go with reveal of Olympic torch

On the one-year countdown to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the design of the Olympic torch has been unveiled.

Evoking fire and ice with its inner red “blazing ribbon” and an outer edge ribbon plated in silver, the torch – named “Flying” – is intended to symbolize how it will bring “light and warmth to the winter sport scene”.

The final design by Li Jianye was selected from 182 entries in a global competition. “By using the same colour combination and by sharing similar artistic elements with the 2008 torch, we aim to extend auspicious greetings to the world as we did at the Summer Games and to showcase Beijing’s rich Olympic culture,” said Li.

The torch design echoes the cauldron that held the Olympic flame during the 2008 Olympic Games, a way of highlighting the city’s Olympic legacy.

Cauldron lit with Olympic flame during Beijing 2008

Former Chinese gymnast Li Ning prepares to light the torch during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The shape of the torch was inspired by the growth of a plant as it reaches out from the soil. Where the red ribbon shows through on the silver is intended to symbolize The Great Wall and the tracks athletes make on ice and snow.

On the lower handle of the torch, patterns of auspicious clouds and snowflakes are representative of the Chinese art of paper cutting. The way that two torches can be aligned to pass the flame is symbolic of a handshake of cooperation.

The design of the Paralympic torch is quite similar, with a gold ribbon instead of the red, but also incorporating braille on the handle.

The designs were unveiled during a ceremony at the National Aquatics Centre where curling competitions will be held in 2022.