A combined photo of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic (L) and Paralympic torch design. (Photo/Sina Weibo account of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games)
Beijing will light the Olympic flame for a second time with a "flying ribbon" after organizers unveiled an ethereal yet dynamic torch design for the 2022 Winter Games to kick off the one-year countdown.
The torch debuted at a ceremony in Beijing's iconic Olympic venue the National Aquatics Center on Thursday, marking the start of the 365-day countdown to the opening of the Winter Games on Feb 4 next year.
Developed by a creative team from e-commerce giant Alibaba, 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 create 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 gala.
The torch features the Beijing 2022 emblem and the Olympic rings etched on its upper section, with red patterns of clouds painted on the bottom gradually stretching into snowflakes.
As the torch turns, the whirling red line hidden in the crack seems to stretch endlessly, representing mankind's relentless pursuit of brightness, peace, excellence and the values promoted by the Olympic Movement.
Using a combustion system developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the torch's flame, fueled by eco-friendly hydrogen, was designed and has undergone rigorous testing to burn reliably in all weather conditions and to withstand strong winds and extreme low temperatures.
Made of carbon-fiber materials developed by Sinopec, the torch is light in weight and resistant to high temperatures.
To honor Beijing's status as the world's first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, the 2022 torch's cloud patterns covering the handle draw inspiration from the main visual element of the 2008 torch, according to the design team.