Torch stand, Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay, anodised aluminium, stainless steel, flexible polyurethane, designed and made by Box and Dice, Sydney 2000
Sydney designers and model-makers, Box and Dice, designed and manufactured this stand to hold the Olympic torch during relay celebrations across the Nulabor Plain. Comprising aluminium and stainless steel base, legs and molded resin support, it complements the modern, streamlined torch design. Seldom used, the stand records the flame's brief journey across remote Australia, and demonstrates the contributions of Australian designers and manufacturers to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
In 1998, SOCOG and its Torch Relay Division modelled a relay route that would highlight Australia's history, people, geography and multicultural achievements. Designed to awaken an Olympic spirit, the relay would pass within an hour's drive of 85 per cent of all Australians (some 17 million people), and would visit all States, capital cities and over 1000 communities. By employing around 40 different modes of transport, it would penetrate vast areas of regional Australia as well as many remote locations.
Preparations for the 2000 Olympic Torch Relay proved enormous logistical efforts that relied heavily upon sponsorship, Local Community Working Groups, and hundreds of community volunteers. These efforts materialised rapidly from 12 May 2000 when the Olympic flame commenced its thirty-day journey through Greece, across thirteen Oceanic countries, and on to Uluru. Here, a site of great cultural and historical significance, Australia's first Aboriginal gold-medallist, Nova Peris-Kneebone, commenced the 100-day torch relay around the continent.
This was the longest, most extensive torch relay in Olympic history, and required 130 official personnel to provide media and medical services, assist torchbearers, and assemble stages for daily community celebrations. During the Whistle Stop Tour, a two-day journey across the Nullarbor Plain, the celebrations followed a modified format with informal speeches and brief exhibition of the Olympic torch and flame.
This torch stand was designed and manufactured by Sydney model- makers, Box & Dice, to hold the Olympic torch at the remote community celebrations. Lightweight, portable and easy to assemble, it ideally suited the mobile nature of the torch relay. Its limited height also benefited children and people in wheelchairs who attended the remote celebrations. Above all, the stand was an attractive object that enhanced rather than overpowered the Olympic torch which was the central icon.
In February 2000, Box & Dice manufactured two torch stands for the remote community celebrations (in theory, one stand would be assembled while the other was in use.) To begin this process, Box & Dice created three-dimensional models, and then molded the legs and torch support in anodised aluminium. The support itself was made in two adjoining parts with a flexible polyurethane core to hold the torch. A spun steel basin was removed from a model of a torch relay cauldron, and upturned to form the base of the torch stand.
The stand is part of the suite of industrial designed objects that supplemented the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic torches. Other objects within this suite include a portable cauldron, a miner's lamp to hold the "mother flame", and an additional though smaller torch stand. Together, these objects reflect the community festivities that occurred during the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays.
Used during the Olympic Torch Relay across the Nullarbor Plain, and at the Perth Torch Relay celebration.
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.