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NZ Hardwood Used for Athens 2004 Torch

July 15, 2004

New Zealand native hardwood used for ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch

Although the 2004 Olympic Torch relay may not have come to New Zealand, 20,000 pairs of hands will carry a small piece of New Zealand through 34 cities and 27 countries before the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games starts on August 13.

Southland-based timber company Lindsay and Dixon has supplied the New Zealand native hardwood, Maple Beech for the production of all 12,000 official Olympic torches. The Maple Beech was harvested from the company¹s Southland forests and processed at its Tuatapere plant.

³It was a great contract to win and an honour to be involved in the creation of such a prestigious global symbol,² Bernie Lagan, managing director of Lindsay & Dixon says. ³The beautiful colour and fine even texture of our native Maple Beech, along with its excellent turning and machining properties, were exactly what the designers were looking for to create these special torch handles.²

Standing at 68cm and weighing 700g, the metal and wood crafted ergonomic model draws heavily on the olive leaf, a traditional tree of the Greek landscape and a symbol of the State of Athens, for inspiration and aims to take the values of peace and hope to every place it travels.

The ATHENS 2004 Olympic torch relay has carried the flame to all cities that have previously hosted the summer Olympic Games, as well as several other selected cities on its trek. The torch also traversed each continent that is represented by the five Olympic rings, visiting, for the first time, the continents of Africa and South America.

The Olympic flame returned to Greece on July 9. It will now continue its travels within Greece, to arrive at the Athens Olympic Stadium on the evening of August 13.

ENDS

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