Banners, Sydney 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay, polyester, made by Selby's Flags and Banners, Sydney c.2000
The Sydney 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay, like its Olympic counterpart, aimed to engender peace, friendship and tolerance, and at the same time gain media coverage and heighten public enthusiasm for the coming Games. Its extensive relay route (the longest route in Paralympic history) went some way to achieving these intentions.
In September 1999, the Federal Government committed $500 000 to the Paralympic Torch Relay and effectively extended it from a State to a 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 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. Propitiously, 30 per cent of this route had not featured in the Olympic Torch Relay, and its residents were eager to experience the Paralympic event.
Like the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay, the Paralympic Relay was interspersed with community celebrations. However, these were modified, much briefer versions of their Olympic counterparts. Local councils hosted the events which comprised community entertainment, official proceedings, and lighting of the community cauldron.
This set of four green and blue banners appeared on stage at the Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations. Made from polyester, they were easily packed and transported on their 11,500-kilometre journey around Australia. The separate designs represent the Paralympic logo, relay sponsors, and warning from the presenting partner, Motor Accidents Authority of NSW: "You only get one body".
Used during the Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations, 5-18 October 2000.
Owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Paralympic Games.