What’s Inside cut open one of the torches built for this year’s Rio Olympics, but it took them the better part of a full day, three different saws, and quite a few tripped fuses. Seriously, this thing is built like a tank, with concentric rings and spokes of aluminum, a telescoping, snake-like tip, and a spring-loaded central gas line. It might be the only thing going right with Rio so far.
As far as staying lit, the Olympic torch bears more in common with a refillable lighter than a flaming stick. The base of the torch houses a gas canister, which is twisted into place until it engages with that central line. Fuel travels up through the handle and out to a wind-proof perforated grate, similar to a Zippo. That telescoping action, it seems, is just to make it look cool—which it does—even if it’s terrifically over-engineered and much more durable than necessary.
Can someone please buy these guys a diamond-tipped saw blade for Christmas? Such a shame to see so many angle grinders die in vain.