Last year, an interesting challenge was undertaken by a man with an even more interesting history. Ashrita Furman, a native of Brooklyn, New York holds a singularly impressive background, though you may have never heard of him. As of 2014, Furman has set over 550 official Guinness World Records in his life, and currently holds nearly 200 of them. This of course includes the record for holding the most Guinness world records. He began his remarkable series of accomplishments when he set his first official record by doing 27,000 jumping jacks. He has traveled around the world setting records in the sight of Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids of Egypt, and on all seven continents.
One of his accomplishments last year was the creation of the World’s Largest Olympic Torch replica. The design chosen to replicate was the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics Torch. The specific torch was chosen for multiple reasons, including some of the beautiful symmetrical design elements. It was unveiled and dedicated to honor Ashrita’s spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy and the Peace Run established in his honor, which has to date, visited more than 140 countries.
As part of the Guinness requirements for the record, the curved steel elements needed to be replicated to scale with the original design. This led to the involvement of the man who designed the official torch for the Nagano Olympics, Akio Haruhara. The design of the torch incorporated both stainless steel and aluminum curved material and stands over 25 feet in total height. The curved design of the structure included a cone shaped portion for the torch’s central flame canister. The conic rolling element flows together with the large painted aluminum plates used to create the overall body of the structure, which is 11 times the size of the original torch. Incidentally, one of the original Nagano torches made a cameo appearance at the unveiling, brought by the designer, Akio Haruhara.
Sometimes when focusing on the structural purposes of curved steel, it can be easy to overlook the simple beauty of the curved metals. However, in cases like this, the simple and elegant features of a well curved piece can truly highlight the peaceful nature of the product.