Torch and packaging, Paralympic Games, Sydney, 2000, designed by Blue Sky, made by G A & L Harrington Pty Ltd, Australia, 1999
Numbered 15993, this torch is one of 1,000 that G.A. & L. Harrington manufactured for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay. (This company also manufactured the torches for the Sydney Olympic Games). The design, developed by the Sydney Paralympic Organising Committee (SPOC), echoed the three coloured curves of 2000 Paralympic Games logo. Endorsing the design in December 1998, SPOC distributed a model and drawings to a short list of torch design tenders and awarded the contract to G.A. & L. Harrington of Sydney. From July 1998, the company conducted final tests before it commenced the development and final production.
Made from chrome and anodised aluminium, the torches were lightweight, ergonomic and inexpensive to mass-produce. Their fuel, a gaseous mixture of propane and butane, maximised the flame luminosity and minimised the emission of pollutants. Innovative and economical, it operated on two combustion streams - one producing a long, luminous flame and the other producing a blue, internal flame that kept the torch alight. Fuel Combustion Technology (FCT) and the Turbulence Energy Combustion Group, both from Adelaide, collaborated to design and test this fuel system. (This system also featured in the Sydney Olympic torches.)
The Sydney 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay, like its Olympic counterpart, aimed to engender peace, friendship and tolerance, and at the same time heighten public enthusiasm for the coming Games. Its extensive relay route (the longest route in Paralympic history) helped to achieve these intentions.
In September 1999, the Federal Government committed $500 000 to the Paralympic Torch Relay and effectively extended it from a State to national event. Along with major funding from the Motor Accidents Authority of New South Wales, and lesser contributions from councils and corporations, the Paralympic Torch Relay visited all States, Territories and capital cities, and toured regional centres in New South Wales and the greater Sydney region.
From 5 to 18 October, the relay traversed 11 500 kilometres (mostly by air), involved 920 torchbearers, and reached a potential audience of 11.5 million Australians. In New South Wales, home to the 2000 Paralympics, a 750-kilometre road journey carried the flame through 200 cities, suburbs and towns.
This torch, numbered '15993', is one of 1,000 torches that were produced for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay from 5 to 18 October 2000. It was designed in early 1998 by the Sydney company, Blue Sky, and was made in early 2000 by the Sydney metal stampers, G.A. & L. Harrington. The torch encapsulates the colour, energy and innovation that defined the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games, and reflects the face of Australian design and technology in the year 2000. As an icon of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, it is a key object within the Sydney 2000 Games Collection.