Keeping the Flame Alive

Jul 28, 2012, 11:14 ET from Australian Trade Commission

LONDON, July 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The Olympic flame is the symbol of any Games and keeping it alight requires enormous technical skill and knowledge.

For the London 2012 Games, the Olympic flame is actually made up of 204 smaller flames - each representing a nation taking part - and is different to any other seen before.

Creating it was a technical challenge that required experts from South Australia's FCT Flames to draw on all of the experience learnt from providing the cauldron and torches for the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Games.

Constantino Manias, Managing Director of FCT Flames, said: "The actual concept of the London cauldron is quite different to anything that we've worked with before where normally there is a cauldron that comes out of the ground or appears from behind some reveal. The London cauldron concept was quite different.  It's actually created out of almost nothing.

"There are 204 small flames, each representing a nation competing in the Games, they all merge together to form one flame which is the Spirit of the Games. It symbolises all the nations coming together as one. The challenge was to make the individual flames as low key as possible which meant that all the equipment associated with each individual flame needed to be as small as possible," said Mr Manias.

Each of the 204 burner stems carrying the individual flames in the cauldron had to be as thin as possible, yet large enough to incorporate the electrical wiring, the gas supply, and a flame detector. The effect was to create a unique Olympic flame that did not look like a cauldron but a merging of 204 individual flames into one.

"For a small company like us in Australia to be involved in so many of these is really exciting. Every one of these games is unique. There are different artistic concepts and different degrees of research needed to deliver those concepts. They are exciting projects and it really is fantastic to be involved," said Mr Manias.

The expertise of Australian firms such as FCT Flames will be showcased to global decision makers at a special event in London during the Games, during which a free app detailing the 'who's who' of the Australian major sporting event industry, Track Record will be launched. The event will be held under the banner of Australia Unlimited, the nation brand which highlights Australia‟s creativity, innovation and sophistication.

SOURCE Australian Trade Commission