Signs for motor vehicles (12), Olympic torch relay, Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000, made in Australia. C.2000
The Olympic torch relay began the final countdown to the Games. Although it was surrounded by controversy in May 2000 with the last minute inclusion of Sophie Gosper as a torchbearer, the start of the Olympic torch relay in Greece was greeted in Australia with a sense of public anticipation and excitement. When the torch arrived in Australia on 8 June 2000 there was a discernable shift in public opinion and media comment from negativity and cynicism to positive anticipation. Australians finally began to embrace the Games.
A crucial part of SOCOG's strategy to engage people all over Australia was the torch relay's 100-day journey around Australia. It involved 11,000 torchbearers throughout Australia with each carrying the flame up to one kilometre, with the average slot length of 500 metres. Towns and cities across the country welcomed the flame and its attendant procession as it weaved its way to Sydney. The torch relay vehicles, especially the Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Holden cars, were decorated in Olympic livery and became familiar sights on the television news.
The Sydney 2000 Paralympic torch relay commenced with a lighting ceremony in Canberra on 5 October 2000, and finished at the opening ceremony at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush Bay on 18 October 2000. From Canberra, the flame travelled to all capital cities by air before completing a 750km road trip through the greater Sydney region, including the main regional centres of Newcastle and Wollongong. 920 torchbearers carried the flame. The Paralympic torch relay was sponsored by the Motor Accidents Authority.
Some of these signs display the logos of the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays. They illustrate how the design elements of the logos were applied to the practical requirements of the torch relays. The 'Drive safely' signs bear the logo of the Motor Accidents Authority but do not show the Paralympic torch relay logo.
These signs accompanied the torch relay vehicles.
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.