The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today announced details of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay, including the planned schedule for the lighting of the Torch and its display across Japan. Also unveiled was the Torch itself and the emblem that will be used to depict the Torch Relay.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay will give everyone an opportunity to reflect on a new partnership between people of different backgrounds and abilities, and between people and society, aiming to help everyone appreciate that there is "unity in diversity". Torchbearers will run in teams of three persons without knowing in advance who their other torchbearers on their team will be. The detailed selection criteria of for the torch bearers will be determined around in this autumn of this year.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay will take place between 13 and 25 August, during the transition period between the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. It will comprise the following three parts:
Part 1: Flame Festivals
A Heritage Flame Celebration will be held in Stoke Mandeville in Great Britain - the spiritual birthplace of the Paralympic Movement - and fFlame-lighting festivals will take place at several locations across the host country, Japan, between 13 and 17 August. These flames will also visit schools, hospitals and facilities connected with the Paralympics in each prefecture of Japan.
Part 2: Paralympic Torch Relay in Shizuoka, Chiba and Saitama Prefectures
In addition to the flame-lighting festival and flame visits, torch relays will be held in theose three prefectures, each of which will host Paralympic events. Teams of three torchbearers will transport the flame, aiming to boost public, interest and support ahead of the Paralympic Games.
Part 3: Nationwide excitement relays to converge on Tokyo
The flames from each flame lighting festival and the torch relays from all over Japan will be brought together in Tokyo on 21 August where the official Paralympic Flame will be lit. The final four days of the Paralympic Torch Relay will then commence in Tokyo
Characteristics of the Paralympic Torch
The torch will be lit for the first time in Tokyo in August 2020, based on the "Share Your Light" concept of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay and thereby leveraging the enthusiasm of all those supporting the Paralympics. The torch is a symbol designed to unify embody the feelings of everyone supporting the Paralympic Games.
Uniting tradition and modern technology, the shape of the torch resembles that of a Japanese traditional "Sakura-mon" cherry blossom emblem. The name of Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games mascot SOMEITY and its design also come from this flower. It was shaped into this form using the same aluminium extrusion technology used in the manufacture of Shinkansen bullet trains. It forms a seamless, single piece in a form that symbolises the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay, created by fusing Japanese tradition and modern technology.
The manufacture of the torch embodies the spirit of recovery and consideration for sustainability. Aluminium construction waste from temporary housing built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake was used to create it, transforming materials that witnessed the rebuilding of shattered lives into a symbol of peace. This will convey to the world the extent to which the affected areas are recovering, one step at a time.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch Relay Emblem
The design of the Torch Relay Emblem is based on the overall Tokyo 2020 emblem, allowing consistent images to represent all Games activities and events.
The Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Emblem incorporates three rectangular shapes arranged to depict the dynamic flames of a torch. In addition, a "ukiyo-e" woodblock printing technique known as "fukibokashi" has been used to produce graduated tones across two colours. One of these - golden-yellow - depicts diverse individuality, and is combined with ochraceous, reminiscent of the earth, to create a festive feeling evoking Japan; their combination creates the effect of a flame. Throughout the torch relay in August 2020, the torches with their diverse origins will aim to an inclusive society.
Tokyo 2020 invited potential torch designers to form a corporate community to take care of all activities from design to manufacturing. Two screening committees were established to evaluate designs against criteria that included design, performance of the lighting mechanism and consideration for sustainability. The resulting design is shown here.