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The Olympic Cauldron: Centre Of The Stadium


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May 19, 2009

Local news briefs

By BOB MACKIN, 24 HOURS

GOV.-GEN. TO CARRY FLAME:

"Mickey the Mini Queen" will be the first Canadian torch bearer in the 2010 Winter Olympics torch relay.

The flame will be lit in an Oct. 22 Olympia, Greece ritual and carried through the country on a Greek Olympic Committee relay before Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean receives it a week later in Panathenaic Stadium, site of the 1896 Games.

Jean will be accompanied by Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn.

The 45,000-kilometre Canadian relay begins Oct. 30 in Victoria and winds up at the Feb. 12, 2010 opening ceremony in B.C. Place Stadium.

Meanwhile, sources told 24 hours construction crews dug a 20-foot-deep hole in the centre of B.C. Place's concrete floor to prepare for the gas-fed, water-cooled Olympic flame cauldron.

Photographs shot May 13 show workers filling in a square area with sand or gravel and wood planks around a smaller square slab.

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2009/...pf-9496101.html

Governor General to receive Olympic flame in Greece

3 days ago

OTTAWA — Governor General Michaelle Jean will begin the process of summoning the world to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics when she picks up the flame in Greece this October.

The flame will be used to light a cauldron at B.C. Place Stadium that will burn throughout the Winter Olympic Games.

Government sources tell The Canadian Press she'll be accompanied by Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn as she takes part in a richly symbolic ceremony in Athens. There had been rumours that Queen Elizabeth might do the honours, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked Jean to do it.

From Greece, the flame will be taken carefully back to Canada where it will start a 45,000-kilometre, 100-day torch relay on Oct. 30, involving 12,000 torch-bearers.

"If you're an athlete, it will certainly start the adrenaline running, that's for sure," said Olympic expert Bruce Kidd, of the University of Toronto.

"For the competition and the enjoyment of the Games next February, you can't get a better start-off point than lighting the torch in Olympia."

The first leg of the flame's journey begins in Olympia, where the ancient Games took place and fires burned on the altars of various gods.

A highly theatrical ceremony is organized for each games, featuring Greek actresses playing priestesses of antiquity. They use the sun and a parabolic mirror to create a flame and place it in an urn.

The "high priestess" takes the flame to a wooded area near the ancient stadium and hands it over to a Greek runner. This part of the ritual is scheduled for Oct. 22.

From there, the flame will travel through Greece before winding up at the white-marble Panathenaic stadium in Athens, the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Jean will be waiting there to receive the flame and begin the process of bringing it home to Canada. On airplanes, the flame is generally kept in a lamp. There are always back-up flames kept in case one goes out.

"Symbolically, it's part of every religious ceremony," said Kidd.

"It's been a symbol of celebration with torch-lit runs and parades in many different cultures, creating community. In a world of such cultural differences, there are very few symbols that have such universality."

Although the inspiration for the Olympic flame and the torch relay go back to antiquity, the actual rituals are less than a hundred years old.

The first use of a large flame at the Games was in Amsterdam in 1928. It wasn't until the 1936 Berlin Olympics that the torch relay was introduced, a symbol of international harmony ironically conceived in Nazi Germany.

As for the Winter Games, the lighting of the flame in Olympia only began in 1964. Before that, the flame had been lit in different locations such as Norway and Rome.

Canada's relay will be the longest ever carried out within a single country, going as far as Alert, Nunavut, the northernmost permanently inhabited community in the world.

Interest in participating in the torch relay has been subdued. The Canadian Press reported last week that applications for the privilege of carrying the torch were only a fraction of the six million who competed prior to the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Forgive me, but I've not bee following this story and am therefore a little confused. If the torch is being built into the centre of the stadium, is this permanent during the games or is the venue to be used for other Olympic events?

If the flame is to be moved after the opening ceremony, then where to?

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BC Place Stadium will be used only for Ceremonies. Winter Olympics have no competitions that take place in big stadiums. That's why many in the past have had ceremonies held in the speed skating oval or ski jump bowl.

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Winter Olympics have no competitions that take place in big stadiums. That's why many in the past have had ceremonies held in the speed skating oval or ski jump bowl.

But...the speed skating and ski jump events are held in those venues... :huh:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Yeah...but the question was about big stadiums like BC Place - a non-competition venue. Much like the stadiums used in Sarajevo, Calgary, Nagano, Salt Lake & Torino. Only ceremonies and parties there.

Lillehammer and Innsbruck had ceremonies in the ski jump venue. Sapporo held them in the skating oval. I guess truth be told, most past Winter Olympic ceremonies were held in temporary bowls and plazas, especially in the smaller communities like Lake Placid, Squaw Valley, and Albertville.

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First they will have to do a test run of the Flame.

This isn't a time for fearless engineering or acting like a theoretical technician. The Flame will have to be tested to make sure it doesn't stress the roof.

Water cooled or not, you're still dealing with a lot of heat and fumes.

It's gonna be mighty hot and stinky in there.

It's going to be a tiny flame, mabey a foot high at most

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First they will have to do a test run of the Flame.

This isn't a time for fearless engineering or acting like a theoretical technician. The Flame will have to be tested to make sure it doesn't stress the roof.

Water cooled or not, you're still dealing with a lot of heat and fumes.

It's gonna be mighty hot and stinky in there.

It's going to be a tiny flame, mabey a foot high at most

So you're now the go-to guy for Bombardier and VANOC?? <_<

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First they will have to do a test run of the Flame.

This isn't a time for fearless engineering or acting like a theoretical technician. The Flame will have to be tested to make sure it doesn't stress the roof.

Water cooled or not, you're still dealing with a lot of heat and fumes.

It's gonna be mighty hot and stinky in there.

It's going to be a tiny flame, mabey a foot high at most

The whole idea of having the cauldron hidden inside the stadium makes no sense to me at all. How and why was this seen to be the best and most creative option? The most iconic imagery of any Olympic Games is seeing the Olympic flame burning over the city skyline.

I'm all behind Vancouver and know they will stage a fantastic games, but I'm not sure history will look kindly on the 'hidden cauldron' concept.

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Calm. None of us knows what Vanoc's plans are. Remember that this article is just from "sources" and not an official from Vanoc.

Finally, even if this flame is "hidden" inside BC Place, it will still be seen by more people than previous outdoor flames. BC Place Stadium will have nightly celebrations. The Olympic flames of Sarajevo, Calgary, Nagano, and Salt Lake burned all alone in an empty, unused stadium far from the action.

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The whole idea of having the cauldron hidden inside the stadium makes no sense to me at all. How and why was this seen to be the best and most creative option? The most iconic imagery of any Olympic Games is seeing the Olympic flame burning over the city skyline.

I'm all behind Vancouver and know they will stage a fantastic games, but I'm not sure history will look kindly on the 'hidden cauldron' concept.

As Kendegra said, none of us know of VANOC's plans...but there was a mention awhile ago about a secondary outdoor flame.

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They could be doing an homage to indigenous settlements, mainly in the Okanagan and plateaus, of the past few centuries in which the household firepit was settled in the centre. The roof had a hole in the middle for smoke to escape, and was kind of like a linking home to heavens type of symbolism.

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A 20 feet deep hole would indicate a strong foundation necessary for a tall tower meaning the flame will be lapping close to the teflon roof.

They're not going to dig a 20 foot deep foundation for a tower only 5 feet tall.

What the hell are these people up to? Are they crazy?

Even at 1000 degrees, they'll be tremendous heat going up to the top of that teflon roof

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Good point Baron - strong possibility this has nothing to do with a torch. Athens and Beijing both had large holes which had nothing to do with the torch but were all to do with getting things onto the floor of the stadium.

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Well remember, the "sources" said the hole was to prepare for the cauldron:

Meanwhile, sources told 24 hours construction crews dug a 20-foot-deep hole in the centre of B.C. Place's concrete floor to prepare for the gas-fed, water-cooled Olympic flame cauldron.

So if we can't believe them about the hole's purpose, how can we believe them about the hole's existence?

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So what's SO SHOCKING about that? Wasn't this expected all the time?

Towerguy/Yellow Vest, it's ONLY YOU in your mind who foresees ALL the possible problems.

Chill, baby, chill. You're really paranoid about this -- unless of course that's how you want t portray yourself.

And you're the only one. Why don't you leave Vancouver in February if you think a cataclysm will happen?

Otherwise, youneed to see a shrink. Fast.

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