It is the smallest and yet the most significant feature of the Paralympics- the Torch. Just this month, 2014 Sochi Organizing Committee and the Presenting Partners for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay including the Coca-Cola Company, Ingosstrakh Insurance Company and JSC Russian Railways Company have unveiled the 2014 Paralympic torch that would hold the flame. The Sochi 2014 Ambassadors Natalia Vodianova and Olesya Vladykina had the honor of presenting the torch in Moscow.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, commented on the torch, “The torch is a key symbol of the Relay. The Sochi 2014 torch combines traditional Russian motifs with the very latest technical know-how in the field of design. The elegant, extraordinary and radiant Sochi 2014 torch represents Russia's beauty and its multifaceted nature”.
The torch for Sochi 2014 was developed by a team of well-known and creative Russian designers and engineers led by Vladimir Pirozhkov and Andrei Vodyanik. The torch represents a vast array of symbolic unification and culture of Russia including folklore, innovative ideas and technology. The color is sky-blue, which represents the power of character within the Paralympic cause. The shape is of a bird which is believed to bring joy and good fortune which relates to Russian childhood stories of the Phoenix fire bird that resurrected from the ashes.
The flame-lighting system was carefully created with a rough, chrome aluminum exterior since the torch must boldly keep the flame going and must endure through all weather conditions such as strong wind, frost, or snow storms. Not only is the Paralympic Torch incredibly durable, but it is also made for comfort for those who will carry the torch. Through many tests and analysis with extreme weather conditions, the designers and engineers of the 2014 Paralympic torch have successfully approved and produced over 1,000 torches for the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. Each torch will be carried through all of the 8 Federal Districts over 50 regions of Russia between February 26th and March 7th and the Relay will end at the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.