Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Asian Games' flame will be the brightest in history

The ceremonial torch is one of the most visible symbols of any Asian Games. And since the forthcoming Games is being hosted by a Chinese city, this one is "Made in China".

The ceremonial torches for the November 12-27 Guangzhou Asian Games were made by Vatti Gas Appliance Stock, a renowned kitchen-appliance manufacturer based in Zhongshan city. Using previous experience in producing torches for sporting events at home and abroad, including the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, the company has made improvements to its design for the Guangzhou torches.
"The torch is named 'The Tide'. The chances of it getting extinguished during the relay are virtually zero and it is more environmentally friendly than any torch made before," said Huang Qijun, president of Vatti.
Aside from manufacturing the torches, the firm will offer technical advice for the torch relay, Huang said. The Tide measures 78 centimetres in length and weighs a mere 98 grams. The design is tall, straight and dynamic, explained Huang, who displayed three of the torches that will be used during the Games.
The upper part of the first torch is adorned with delicately carved ivory in the shape of swirling water, symbolising the inclusive spirit of the local Lingnan culture. The second mimics rising, flowing flames, while  the distinctive reddish colour of the handle reflects the bombax cotton flower, the emblem of Guangzhou, embodying the power and passion of life.
Vatti has upgraded the technology in the two years since the Olympics. The burner, valve and switch for the Guangzhou torch look much superior. The torch has one simple burner and double-headed flame that will be lighter and more stable than its predecessors. It has been designed to withstand heavy rain and gale-force winds.
The torch, which had to meet the organising committee's requirements in terms of height, shape and the artistic appearance of flame, uses low-carbon eco-friendly fuel.  The hydrogen-based fuel turns almost entirely into water and carbon dioxide after burning.
The Games torch was ignited by the sun's rays in a traditional ceremony at the Great Wall in Beijing on October 9. The flame relay began on October 12 in Beijing before taking a route through Harbin, Changchun, Haiyang and 21 other cities in Guangdong province.
As well as the Beijing Olympics, Vatti has produced torches for nine other international sports events at home and abroad, including the East Asian Games in Hong Kong in 2009, the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore this year, along with all three of China's most recent National Games - 2001, 2005 and 2009.
Since winning the bid to make the torch for the 2008 Olympics, the company has spent five years and big money to collect previous Olympic torches in a bid to make their own the best. Its most expensive acquisition is the 1936 Berlin Olympics torch, which cost �100,000 (Bt4.2 million). The collection of Olympic torches is on display in a museum on the company's premises.
Vatti is also applying to make torches for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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