January 14 - A sleek silver-and-red torch for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics Torch Relay was today unveiled at a special ceremony in Moscow.
Sochi 2014 ambassadors Tatyana Navka, Natalia Vodianova, Ilya Averbukh and Olesya Vladykina took part in the event at the GUM shopping centre just meters away from Red Square, where the uniforms to be used in the Torch Relay were also launched.
The 95-centimetre (37-inch) light aluminium object is shaped like a feather with an open eye in the middle outlined by a fiery red.
The shape of the Torch resembles the feather of a firebird, a regular character in many Russian fairytales.
It is supposed to have magic powers and assists a famous prince.
The Torches were developed by a group of Russian designers and engineers, led by Vladimir Pirozhkov and Andrey Vodyanik.
The Olympic and Paralympic Torches are identical in shape and size and only differ in colour.
Organisers said the matt silver in the design represented ice while the red stood for the fire kindling in the mountains that surround the holiday resort.
The casing is made of aluminum alloy, with the handle and central insert moulded from high-duty polymer.
Each torch is 0.95 metres long and weighs about 1.8 kilograms and will produce "a very bright, beautiful flame of bright orange-red," designer Pirozhkov said.
The design also provides for reliable burning in strong wind, frost or any other bad weather conditions.
A total of 14,000 Olympic and more than a 1,000 Paralympic Torches will be produced for the Relay, which is due to start in Olympia on October 7 before arriving in Sochi on February 7 for the Opening Ceremony.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay is set to be the longest in the history of the Winter Olympic Games and the longest to take place exclusively within the territory of the host country, passing 2,900 towns and cities in all 83 of Russia's regions, travelling a total of 40,000 miles.
The Paralympic Torch is sky blue to symbolise the strength and spirit of the Paralympic Movement, Sochi 2014 officials explained.
The uniform was designed by Bosco, the apparel sponsor of Sochi 2014,
"The torch is a key symbol of the Relay," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and chief executive of Sochi 2014.
"The Sochi 2014 torch combines traditional Russian motifs with the very latest technical know-how in the field of design.
"The elegant, extraordinary and radiant Sochi 2014 torch represents Russia's beauty and its multifaceted nature."
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