Early Spring 2016, the Captains Committee had decided to establish a new symbol for the Athletics Program. A contest within the AUP community was started, with the objective to create an ideogram representing sports as well as French and American values. Encouraging interested participants to seek for “connections between AUP, the United States of America, and Paris”, the captains expected each submission to be complemented by a short description of how it connected to AUP.
After weeks of going through 15 – 20 different creations, the Committee finally casted a vote, crowning Darwin Robles, AUP senior in Computer Science, as the winner of the contest. In his description, Darwin explained why his creation perfectly represents AUP and its Athletics Program:
“While brainstorming ideas for the logo, I focused primarily on designing a symbol that
would best represent the French-American relation aspect of AUP and the internationalism embodied by its faculty and students. In thinking about the ways in which France and
the US are linked, the immediate and obvious image that came to mind was the Statue of
Liberty sculpture. A gift to the US from France, it signifies American freedom and was once a
welcoming sight to immigrants (who thought it symbolic of new beginnings) and visiting
foreigners sailing to NYC. Keeping in mind Athletics, the one feature that felt most relevant was the torch-bearing arm, with the most remarkable element being the flame — a motif in sports attributed to the Olympic flame. The flame is outlined as the initials of the university to further evoke the idea that AUP, just like the flame, symbolizes the light of knowledge, spirit and life.
Just as Lady Liberty stands to enlighten the world, so too does our university.”
This semester, AUP’s athletes were equipped with starter packs: each pack consists of a sports bag containing one t-shirt, the official AUP uniform and one water bottle, all imprinted with the new emblem. Amongst student athletes, the ideogram is very popular: some call it “the torch”, others name it “the flame.”
One cannot help but sense a certain sort of “connection” nowadays when athletes meet up to go to practices, games or events together. The torch flaring on the t-shirts, uniforms and bags contributes to that sense of unity, and one might, if carefully getting a bit closer to these athletes, even feel some sort of pleasant warmth projected by it…