So here it is, a prototype of the London 2012 torch, revealed today by Olympic officials.
Unlike the logo and mascots, the torch design is modest and non-controversial. Unless you imagine it lit. Then it looks ever so slightly like a golden spliff.
The torch was designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and engineered and built by British firms Tecosim and The Premier Group.
For such a simple-looking item, the torch contains many levels of symbolism:
Its gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 small cut-out circles, representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement. The circles, which run the length of the Torch, will also offer a unique level of transparency – allowing people to see right into its heart – and help keep the Torch cool. The triangular design has been inspired by the multiples of three identified across the vision and delivery of the Olympic Games. These include the three Olympic Values of respect, excellence and friendship; the fact the UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times; and the vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three strands of work – sport, education and culture.
An interesting account of Olympic torch history can be found here.