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Barcelona 1992 Torch Relay Getty Images

Route design and details

After the lighting ceremony in Olympia and a relay across Greece, the flame reached Athens, which it left on 9 June on board the Cataluña frigate.

On 13 June, the flame reached the Catalan coast in Empúries, a former Greek colony founded in around 600BC. It was welcomed by about 1,000 different boats and a crowd of 5,000 people who waited for it on the shore. It reached the coast in a typical Catalan boat, propelled by 10 rowers.

From Empúries, the relay travelled at first to Catalonia and then the rest of Spain. The relay passed through 652 localities, including the capitals of each of the 17 autonomous communities and the various Olympic sites. The route also included the Canary Islands, reached by plane. The crossing between Tenerife and Las Palmas was made by hydrofoil. On its approach to Barcelona, the relay travelled to the Balearics by boat.

On 24 June, the flame reached Barcelona and travelled through the city the whole night surrounded by an excited crowd. The following day, the last stage took it to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony, where Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo ignited the cauldron by shooting an arrow lit from the Olympic flame.

Barcelona 1992 Relay route IOC

Start date: 5 June 1992, Olympia (Greece)
End date: 25 July 1992, Olympic Stadium, Barcelona (Spain)
First torchbearer: Savvas Saritzoglou, Olympic participant in athletics (1992)
Last torchbearer: Antonio Rebollo
Number of torchbearers: 365 in Greece, 9,484 in Spain of which 8,885 were on foot and 599 by bike
Recruitment of torchbearers: The torchbearers came from the following categories: Olympic volunteers from various regions in Spain; torchbearers chosen by the town halls of cities crossed by the relay who could each choose one runner; the partner companies of the relay and the Organising Committee; people from among the general public who put forward their candidature.
Distance: 367 km in Greece, 5,940 km in Spain, of which 1,490 km was by bicycle and 4,450 km was on foot. Transport by ship between Greece and Spain excluded.
Countries visited: Greece, Spain
Barcelona 1992 Torch IOC Description: The torch is asymmetrical, its axis pointing symbolically in the direction of Barcelona. On the flat part of the handle is the inscription XXV Olimpiada Barcelona 1992 as well as the emblem of the Games. The circular shape of the upper part recalls that of a cauldron and also features the final destination of the flame. The conical and triangular shapes that appear in the design of the torch are inspired by the amphora and by the Latin sail, giving it a Mediterranean character.
Colour: Silver, gold
Height: 66 cm
Composition: Aluminium, plastic
Fuel: Gaseous fuels
Designer / Manufacturer: André Ricard / Vilagrasa
Did you know?
  • In addition to the torch for the Barcelona 1992 relay, André Ricard designed the safety lamp and the celebration cauldron for the stopover cities.
  • For The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, then IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch asked André Ricard to design the cauldron in front of the building where a permanent fire burns.

Did you know?

  • The shape of the titanium cauldron in the Olympic Stadium was inspired by the mosaics of Antoni Gaudí. The cauldron rested on an imposing base of aluminium which recalled the rudder of a Mediterranean boat and was fixed to the outside wall of the Stadium. The flame, which burned at its top throughout the Games, was three metres high.
  • The arrow used by Antonio Rebollo to light the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony was specially designed to support the flame and avoid the archer burning himself. It was made of tempered duralumin, weighed about 100 grams and was a little over a metre long. The arrow is now part of the collections of The Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

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