The torch is one of the main attributes of the Paralympic Games. The torch of "Sochi 2014" represents the Russian hospitality, joyful and inspiring atmosphere of competitions, as well as barrier-free environment that is inherent by the capital of the Paralympic Winter Games.
For the first time the Paralympic Torch Relay was held before the Games in 1988 in Seoul. The torch was lit on the mountain Mani sacred for Koreans, where, according to legend, was the living place of one of the local gods.
Every year the Paralympic Torch Relay are becoming more ambitious. In 1996, the number of torchbearers of the relay in Atlanta has reached 1,000 people, among whom there was the U.S. President Bill Clinton. In 2008, during the Torch Relay in Beijing the torch was lit in the Temple of Heaven from the optical focus of a concave mirror.
In London during the Summer Paralympics in 2012 the torch differed from its Olympic fellow by the silver color of the casing. The relay involved 580 people, one of whom was the President of the International Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven.
The shape of the Paralympic Torch is similar to the shape of the Olympic torch and is due to the unity of the spirit of competition. In both cases it is a symbol of commitment to the pinnacle of spiritual and physical perfection. The difference is in the color of the handle elements and the central space. Sky blue color symbolizes purity of mind and strength of spirit of the Paralympians.
The design of the torches was developed by the creative design team under the guidance of Vladimir Pirozhkov and Andrey Vodyanik. The torch weighs about 1.8 kg, its height is 0,95 m, width is 0,145 m (at the widest point), thickness is 0.054 m. Weight and center of gravity are designed and matched for maximum ease of use while running.