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Paris 2024 reveals cauldron for Olympic and Paralympic torch relay

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-07 10:39
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Mathieu Lehanneur, designer of the Olympic torch and the celebration sites cauldron, holds a torch for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games as he poses at his workshops in Ivry-sur-Seine near Paris, France, May 3, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - With the Olympic flame set to arrive in Marseille in two days' time, organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games on Monday revealed the design of the torch relay cauldron.

Just like the torch, the cauldron was created by Mathieu Lehanneur and manufactured by ArcelorMittal, drawing on the inspirations and signature features of the torch: the purity of form, color and texture of water.

It has been produced in a limited batch of 20 units. Each cauldron features a ring at the top with a diameter of 1.35 meters and is equally wide at the base. The cauldron stands 1.15 meters tall, making it accessible for wheelchair users. It weighs 95 kilograms, with the ring made of stainless steel and the base crafted from aluminium.

The cauldron also has the same luminous hue as the torch, a combination of gold, silver and bronze, with a shiny finish on the lower parts and a matt finish on the upper parts.

"The torch, the torch relay cauldron and the Olympic cauldron are not separate objects. They are chapters in one great story. Each embodies the spirit of the Paris Games. The cauldron takes the form of a ring of fire suspended above a liquid surface. Both pure and magical, it seems to float and is reflected in its metallic base. If the torch is a sacred fire that is passed on, the cauldron is the object around which we gather and which unites our energies," said Lehanneur.

From the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea to the Seine, the stage of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and the competition venue, via the Oceans relay, the central role of water in the torch relay and the Games of Paris 2024 is symbolized both on the torch and on the base of the cauldron with wave and ripple effects.

At each stopover city during the relay in France, the last torchbearer of the day will light the cauldron at the celebration venue, bringing the festivities to a climax.

"The lighting of the cauldron by the last torchbearer of the day will be a highlight. In each stopover city, the cauldron will be a real meeting point to round off these days of celebration and communion in style," said Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet.

At previous editions of the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays, a torch was traditionally offered to each torchbearer as a souvenir. Although the number of torches produced (2,000) has been divided by five compared with previous editions of the torch relay, Paris 2024 still prepared a gift to the 11,000 torchbearers: the Heart of the Torch, which is a gold ring from the torch.

The ring joins the upper and lower parts in the middle of the torch. The gold-colored ring is also produced by ArcelorMittal, using steel made entirely in France and engraved with the words "PORTEUR DE LA FLAMME", "ECLAIREUR DES JEUX" and "PARIS 2024".

The Heart of the Torch measures 10 centimeters in diameter and 2 millimeters in thickness, weighing 65 grams.

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