Torches of Inspiration

Unlike recent torch relays that produce more
than 10,000 torches, the Helsinki torch is one
of only 22; one sold for nearly $500,000 at
auction in Paris in January 2011.

It has a sterling silver bowl with a birch-wood
handle. The caption reads 'XV Olympia Helsinki
1952' and 'Helsinki Helsingfors'. There are
Olympic rings and a wreath on the upper part.
The handle is made of lacquered wood.

The penultimate torchbearer was legendary
runner Paavo Nurmi, then aged 55 years old,
who passed the torch to Finnish Olympic medallist, Hans Kohlemainen, then 62, to light the cauldron.