Beijing 2022; Torch Design

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Press release


Beijing 2022 unveils Olympic torch as one-year countdown begins

Beijing will light the Olympic flame for a second time with ‘a blazing ribbon’after organizers unveiled an ethereal yet dynamic torch design for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 to kick off the one-year countdown.

The Olympic torch, both named as “Flying”, debuted at a ceremony in Beijing’s iconic 2008 Summer Games venue the National Aquatics Center on Thursday where the curling competition will take place in 2022, marking the start of the 365-day countdown to the opening of the Games on Feb 4 next year.

The torch spirals upward to resemble two overlapping fluttering ribbons. The inner red ribbon evokes rising flames, with the outer one plated in silver to produce a striking contrast.

Beaming with dynamism and vitality, the two-tone torch presents a metaphor of ice and fire, symbolizing how it will bring light and warmth to the winter sports celebration.

The torch features the emblem of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on its mid-section, with patterns of clouds and snowflakes painted from the bottom up to the flame.

As the torch turns, the whirling red line hidden in the gap seems to stretch endlessly, representing mankind’s relentless pursuit of light, peace, excellence and the values promoted by the Olympic Movement.

“To introduce the torch at the start of the one-year countdown, we wish to kindle the enthusiasm and anticipation for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games all around the world,” said Wang Xiangyu, a deputy director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.

“The successful design of the torch has proved again that the Olympics always set the stage for the integration of sports, culture, art and science.”

To honor Beijing’s status as the world’s first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, the 2022 torch features a similar design to the 2008 Games’ main cauldron, which resembled a giant scroll, highlighting the Olympic spirit’s legacy in the Chinese capital.

The cloud patterns covering the handle of the torch also draws inspiration from the main visual element of the 2008 torch, according to the design team.

“By using the same color 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 Jianye, the designer of the torch’s appearance.

Sharing the same structure and patterns, the torch for the Paralympic Winter Games, which was also unveiled on Thursday, features a different color scheme of gold and silver. The lower section of the torch is engraved with Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Braille.

Another design highlight allows both torches to lock into each other at the top when torchbearers exchange the flame during the Torch Relay, symbolizing Beijing 2022’s vision to promote mutual understanding and respect between different cultures.

The final design was selected from 182 entries into a global competition launched in April 2020.The combination of Chinese aesthetic value, traditional cultural connotations and advanced technology helped the winning design team stand out, according to the judge.

“The current design strikes a perfect balance between the expression of the host nation’s culture, Olympism and the demonstration of the latest industrial technology,” said Lu Xiaobo, a member on the judging panel and dean of the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University.

Using a combustion system developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the torch fueled by hydrogen most of the time (propane at certain circumstances), was designed and has undergone rigorous testing to burn reliably in most weather conditions and to withstand strong winds and extreme low temperatures.

Made of carbon-fiber materials, the torch is light in weight and resistant to high temperatures.

Planning for the Torch Relay and selection of torchbearers for the Games are underway with detailed information to be released in due course, according to the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.

 

Beijing 2022; Pictograms

 

Press release

BEIJING 2022: TRADITION AND INNOVATION COMBINE FOR PICTOGRAM PERFECTION

Beijing capped an exciting year of preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Thursday with the release of the Games’ official sports pictograms, which were inspired by traditional Chinese seal engraving.

With some of the country’s top sports and entertainment celebrities in attendance, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022) unveiled the pictograms at a televised countdown party on New Year’s Eve, a major milestone in preparations with co-host city Zhangjiakou, Hebei province for the winter sports gala.

The set of 24 pictograms for the Olympic Winter Games identifies each of the disciplines across seven sports. However, freestyle skiing and snowboard have six and five icons respectively in order to represent the different equipment and courses used in these disciplines. Six symbols identify each of the sports at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

Designed based on traditional Chinese seal engraving, each of the pictograms depicts its respective event with unique strokes – like those carved with a knife on Chinese seals dating back to the Qin and Han dynasties. The pictograms embody both the motion of winter sports and China’s rich culture in modern graphics.

The sharp contrast between the red background and white strokes highlights the grace and dynamism of winter sports, and adds a festive vibe to the Games, which will echo the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2022.

“The release of the sports pictograms marks the progress in our preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 over the past year in a visually strong fashion,” said Gao Tian, deputy director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of Beijing 2022.

“It’s another example of presenting time-honored Chinese art in a modern way and integrating the quintessence of Chinese culture into sports presentation on the Olympic and Paralympic stage.”

As one of the main graphic elements of the Games, pictograms are widely used in areas such as event signposting, advertising, communications, TV broadcasting and souvenir design. In addition to their traditional context, the sports pictograms must primarily function flawlessly as a simple, internationally understandable representation of the respective sport.

The newly released pictograms were developed in line with the style of the Games’ emblems, with both graphic elements designed by the same group led by Lin Cunzhen, an associate professor at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Drawing on inspiration from the Beijing 2008 pictograms, the 2022 version also incorporates the art of calligraphy.

“We designed these pictograms based on two principles – to stay consistent with the Games’ entire visual appearance and to echo the design used at the 2008 Summer Games to highlight Beijing’s unique status as the world’s only city so far to host both Summer and Winter Games,” said Lin, who is also an art director of the Culture and Ceremonies Department of the Beijing 2022.

The craft of engraving is better suited to portray the power and speed of winter sports than the smooth style of calligraphy used in 2008. It took the design team half a year to handle the challenge of depicting every sport distinctively, with hundreds of sketches drawn and countless modifications made, according to Lin.

Brainstorming with sports managers and international consultants from Beijing 2022’s Sports Department also contributed to the design with invaluable insights.

For example, the visual angle of the logo for speed skating was adjusted from the conventional sideline to the head-on angle, as per suggestions from the sports department to differentiate it from short-track speed skating and better capture the movement of athletes, explained Lin.

The design of the sports pictograms has earned a resounding thumbs-up from all the relevant International Federations (IFs), said Tong Lixin, head of Beijing 2022’s Sports Department.

“We followed their suggestions to make some adjustments to certain details, which put the icing on the cake,” Tong said of the feedback from the IFs.

“Eventually, all IFs approved the design with high praise for its innovation and unique Chinese style.”

The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 are scheduled to take place from Feb 4 to 20 in three venue zones – downtown Beijing, its northwest Yanqing district and Zhangjiakou, followed by the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games from March 4 to 13.

 

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