Official 1956 Cortina Winter Olympics torch, constructed of silver-colored metal, measuring 16.25″ in length and 5.5″ at its widest point, designed by Ralph Lavers. The torch was modeled after the one used for the 1948 London Olympics and the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, with the upper part in the shape of a cauldron with three ‘cut-outs’ of the Olympic rings, encircled below by the inscription, “VII Giochi Invernali Cortina 1956.” Complete with its original burner wick and triangular patch, reading, “Coni - Final, Belluno, 59, Staffetta Trasporto, Fiaccola Olimpica,” indicating the portion of the relay where this torch was carried—Belluno, close to Cortina itself. The ‘Olympic’ flame was lit at Rome’s Capitoline Hill on January 22, and made its way north via a unique mixture of plane, gondola, ice skates, roller skates, and manpower. The torch entered the Olympic Ice Stadium four days later, with participating speed skater Guido Caroli skating into the arena to light the cauldron. The Games are best known for the debut of Soviet athletes in a Winter Olympiad, and the first instance in which the Olympics were internationally televised; Caroli famously tripped over broadcast wires on his way to the cauldron.
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