#unitedbytheflame campaign lights up Buenos Aires 2018
Launched on 3 August by the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, the #UnitedByTheFlame campaign invites social media users to carry their own digital Olympic flame during the 60-day torch tour. Buenos Aires 2018 Communications Director Alejandro Lifschitz has the details of this unique initiative.
So how does it work, Alejandro?
It’s very easy. All you have to do is take a vertical selfie with your hand held out as if you were holding the Olympic flame and upload it to your Instagram account. Then search for the “Youth Olympic Flame” gif, place the flame in the palm of your hand, and post your story by tagging @buenosaires2018 with the hashtag #UnitedByTheFlame (or #UnidosPorLaLlama if you’re posting in Spanish). You can download the photo and use it as your profile and share it on other social networks too.
Can you write a story or a message to go with your image?
Some people do. Sometimes they just write one word, something about what the flame means to them. It might just be the word “peace”, or a message with a greeting from the end of the world.
Every time someone holds the flame in the palm of their hand they are sending a message of change to the world, a message of Olympism.Alejandro Lifschitz Buenos Aires 2018
Global sports stars like Javier Mascherano and Gabriela Sabatini are involved in the campaign video. Do you have any other famous faces taking part?
A lot of Olympic athletes have already carried our flame. One of the first people to join our campaign was the legendary Luis Scola, a member of Argentinian basketball’s golden generation and a gold medallist at Athens 2004 and bronze medallist at Beijing 2008. We are now working hand in hand with our friends from the NOCs and the International Federations to take the campaign to every corner of the planet.
It’s a unique idea. How did you come up with it?
It came about in a Buenos Aires 2018 communications team meeting. We were busy planning the communications strategy for the Torch Tour that is currently travelling throughout Argentina, and we asked ourselves how we could take the flame beyond the physical boundaries of the torch relay. So, inspired by the Buenos Aires 2018 Torch Tour logo, we created our sticker and began inviting our Instagram users to upload their photos and stories under #UnitedByTheFlame. The flame might look small, but it’s huge in terms of what it symbolises.
And what’s the aim of this little flame?
We firmly believe in the transformative power of sport and Olympism in a world that is far from how we would like it to be. The Youth Olympic flame truly represents the message of change that we want to transmit from the southern part of the planet. The flame also represents gender equality, which is an integral part of the DNA of Buenos Aires 2018. We are very proud to be the first Olympic competition to pursue strict gender equality. That is the spirit that fires our #UnitedByTheFlame campaign. Every time someone holds the flame in the palm of their hand they are sending a message of change to the world, a message of Olympism.
How long will the campaign run for?
We’re dreaming of a big finale on 6 October, when we light the Youth Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, an event open to everyone right in the heart of Buenos Aires. We’re hoping for the world to join as one in our celebration by carrying our flame.
What are your favourite contributions so far?
A couple posted an image of their recently born first baby carrying the flame in the palm of his tiny hand. Stories like that are really powerful. We also especially liked the image of two Argentinian primary school students putting their hands together to carry a single flame between the two of them. It was a beautiful symbol of friendship.