Torch relay escort uniform, Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay, cotton, designed and made by Bonds c.2000
This is an unused example of the Sydney 2000 Olympic torchbearer uniform that was designed and manufactured in 1999 by the Australian company, Bonds. Around 10,000 Olympic torchbearers wore the uniforms between 12 May and 15 September 2000 as they relayed the flame from Greece to Sydney. During this period, the uniforms received extensive national and international exposure, particularly during the opening ceremony when celebrated Australian athletes relayed the flame to the Olympic cauldron.
The uniform design fulfilled both functional and aesthetic requirements. Its bright colours and reflective dyes represented a current interpretation of the new millennium and purity of the torch relay. The graphic elements exemplified the insignia that accompanied the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Moreover, the lightweight fabric and casual style ideally suited the athletic nature of the relay, and the bright colours and reflective dyes ensured that the uniform appeared prominently amongst a sea of spectators and media.
In May 2000, SOCOG anxiously watched its first major event, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay, progress from Greece to Sydney. Like previous torch relays, this event was designed to awaken an Olympic spirit in preparation for the coming Games. In Australia, the relay assumed an even greater public function by celebrating local cultures and travelling within an hour's drive of eight-five per cent of the population. Ultimately, this segment involved 1,000 communities and 10,000 torchbearers, and attained a festive, community complexion.
SOCOG's earliest visions for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay looked towards extensive community participation. In 1999, it devised a daily schedule of community festivities and sought torchbearers who had contributed to either the nation or their local community. Nomination forms featured in local newspapers and stated that nominees should be twelve years of age or older, Australian citizens or permanent residents, and capable of running one kilometre with a 2-kilogram torch. (These specifications exceeded the eventual requirements as the torch would only weigh less than one kilogram, and each torchbearer would run no more than 500 metres.) Once selected, torchbearers would be assigned an official uniform.
Australian clothing manufacturers, Bonds, received the lucrative contract to design and manufacture the Sydney 2000 Torch Relay uniform. At this time, Bonds was also designing and manufacturing similar uniforms for torch relay escort runners, Paralympic torchbearers, and torch relay crew. In a concise though slightly abstract design brief, SOCOG requested that the uniform would encapsulate the historical purity and simplicity of the torch relay; feature the Sydney 2000 Fluid Energy graphic; incorporate the colours and image of the actual torch; and symbolise the new millennium.
The result was a simple white cotton uniform with a long sleeve t- shirt, drawstring shorts, sports socks, and runners that belonged to the torchbearers themselves. Cyan and reflective silver dyes were used to apply the graphic details, including the Olympic rings, Fluid Energy graphic, and torch relay logo. The bright colours within the uniform symbolised the purity and simplicity of the torch relay. The reflective dyes represented the new millennium
The uniform was designed in 1999 by Bonds to fulfill both functional and aesthetic requirements. Its bright colours and reflective dyes represented a current interpretation of the new millennium and purity of the torch relay. The graphic elements exemplified the insignia that accompanied the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Moreover, the lightweight fabric and casual style ideally suited the athletic nature of the relay, and the bright colours and reflective dyes ensured that the uniform appeared prominently amongst a sea of spectators and media.
The cotton uniform was made by Bonds in Australia in early 2000.
Though this uniform is unused, Sydney 2000 torch relay escort runners wore identical examples from 12 May to 15 September 2000.
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.