BARCELONA 1992

  • Date of Lighting: June 5, 1992
  • Colour of the torch: silver
  • Height: 68cm
  • Weight: 1200gr
  • Number of torches: 6.500
  • Number of torchbearers: 10.448
  • First torchbearer: Savvas Saritzoglou (hammer throw)
  • Last torchbearer: Antonio Rebollo
  • Countries crossed: Greece, Spain
  • Kilometres: 6.307

For the first time in the Games history, the Olympic Flame was not lit by the organisers’ official torch, as it had traditionally happened until then. It was an idea then President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Lambis Nikolaou had put forward. Nikolaou asked famous jeweler Ilias Lalaounis to design a Greek-styled torch that the High Priestess would use at the Lighting Ceremony. Lalaounis designed a beaten silver torch for free. The torch, which was one metre high and weighed 200 grams, has been always in Greece. He was inspired by a pillar of the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia; the torch had the shape of the pillar turned upside-down. He produced 4 torches in total, three of which belong to the Hellenic Olympic Committee. The fourth one is a permanent exhibit at the IOC’s Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

In the Torch Lighting Ceremony, Greece’s stage actress Maria Pambouki had the role of the High Priestess, while Savas Saritzoglou, Greece’s champion in the hammer throw, was the first torchbearer. Basketball player Panagiotis Giannakis took the Flame into the Panathenaic stadium, as the last torchbearer of the relay’s Greek leg. Giannakis was also handed over the Flame after its world trip in Crete.

The Olympic Flame left Greece for the Spanish port of Empuries aboard Spanish Navy’s frigate “Catalunya”. Empuriés had been an ancient Greek colony and was picked by the organisers as a tribute to the country which gave birth to the Olympic Games. The Spanish leg involved 652 cities, while 60 welcome ceremonies took place. Industrial designer André Ricard designed the Torch and officially presented it 500 days before the Games.

High Priestess