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Agreed. But you're glorifying a DESIGNER who has nothing to do with sport. Maybe Rebollo for Barcelona was a nobody, but the moment and the manner of Barcelona's lighting was SPECTACULAR enough NOT to need an "A-list" athlete, but merely a competent archer.

And back to Heatherwick-2012; great if the design remained and the cauldron is something people can visit. But LOCOG and Heatherwick went with the "just the celebratory moment" matrix, thus it only exists in memory and on YouTube clips. That's about it. At least the other Olympics have the physical cauldron where people can visit. Yeah, London did it different...but it's only a passing memory.

it be fair the brief was given to heatherwick was to design a temporary cauldron that each nation can depart with. so it was the brainchild of the london organizers or danny boyle himself. past physical cauldron has always go to a awkward phases during legacy. its not a sport facilities that people can use but it also has the memory of that games so you can't just destroy it. while some are in good condition being cared for by the government others are rotting a way in the streets (i'm looking at you Moscow) but at most, they are used as bird toilets.

i know that it's wrong that the cauldron was inaccessible during the two weeks or, to others, that placement of it was no right and it should be place on top of the stadium like a useless lighthouse. but you can't deny that this cauldron was successful in

being a symbol of these games and being 'liquidated' after that games.

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it will be the most boring opening ceremony after atlanta :S

Fly over for a visit. There were some wonderful moments, but also quite a few disorganized looking head-scratchers. It wasn't terrible, but I have yet to speak to anyone on this side of the pond who

I will always see Beijings as a celebration that the Chinese beat their drums to the same beat and Londons a celebration that we each beat our drums to very different beats. Im certainly not trying

Li Ning and Rafer Johnson are both internationally well-known.

I personally don't think it matters if the torch lighter is well-known or not.

To be honest, I had never heard about Li Ning before it was announced that he will become the final torchbearer in Beijing. Yes, I know now that he has his own sports fashion brand - but that brand isn't very well-known here in Germany.

And probably in 1984, quite a few people still remembered Rafer Johnson's athletic success in the 1950s and 1960s. But nowadays, I doubt that many people outside (or even in) the USA would recognise his name.

I think the only real international stars who lit an Olympic cauldron so far were Paavo Nurmi, Michel Platini, Muhammad Ali and Wayne Gretzky. Or even only Muhammad Ali, since Nurmi, Platini and Gretzky had/have the disadvantage of representing sports which aren't very popular in all parts of the world.

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As an Australian it is hard for me to gauge Cathy Freeman's international profile, prior to her lighting the cauldron at the 2000 Olympics.

However, you can't deny that she was simply the best option Australia had, given the time and symbolism. She had caught the nation's attention at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada when she draped herself in the indigenous flag (and not the Australian flag) after winning gold, then after winning silver in Atlanta she had four years of mounting pressure to win the gold at home in 2000. And she did. After lighting the cauldron a week earlier. That has to be about as epic as you can get. She remains the only person to have the honour of both lighting an Olympic cauldron and winning a gold medal at the same Olympics. Amazing synchronicity.

ALSO just on a note about Cathy Freeman's profile prior to the Sydney Olympics - interestingly she had been somewhat iconic even a decade before - where ironically she was used by the Melbourne 1996 bid team in Tokyo in 1990 to garner support for the bid. Interesting to think that if Melbourne had staged 1996 - that it is quite probable that Cathy Freeman would have lit the cauldron at the MCG. If you watch this news report from 1990, it makes explicit mention of Freeman (although not by name). Quite an amazing foreshadow of history, I think... (Watch from 3:45)

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However, you can't deny that she was simply the best option Australia had, given the time and symbolism. She had caught the nation's attention at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada when she draped herself in the indigenous flag (and not the Australian flag) after winning gold, then after winning silver in Atlanta she had four years of mounting pressure to win the gold at home in 2000. And she did. After lighting the cauldron a week earlier. That has to be about as epic as you can get. She remains the only person to have the honour of both lighting an Olympic cauldron and winning a gold medal at the same Olympics. Amazing synchronicity.

Hindsight's a funny thing, though. Of course, these days, it's hard to imagine anybody but Cathy doing the honours. It really does sound so obvious. She was the obvious choice as soon as she appeared in the stadium at the OC. It's hard now to imagine anyone else.

But ...

Before the OC (and I was following it closely), she really didn't get mentioned as the cauldron lighter much. Most of the betting was on Sydney girl Dawn Fraser doing it. And even in the broadcast of the OC, as soon as she disappeared from her seat as Samaranch's "partner" (in place of his sick wife), it seemed to confirm she would do the deed. And Dawn herself (bless her bluntness) said afterwards she was a bit "crook" at not being chosen.

Funny thing is, I was probably gunning for Dawn myself in the lead-up (she was a neighbour of mine at the time). But now I'm glad she didn't get the honours and I'm sooo glad Cathy did.

Cathy really made her name winning gold at the Commonwealths. And her feuds with Arthur Tunstall of Commies Federation. Remember, she only got silver in Atlanta, and Marie Jose Perec's losing her nerve when she got to Sydney denied us nwhat would have been the grand match-up for the 400m.

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Hindsight's a funny thing, though. Of course, these days, it's hard to imagine anybody but Cathy doing the honours. It really does sound so obvious. She was the obvious choice as soon as she appeared in the stadium at the OC. It's hard now to imagine anyone else.

But ...

Before the OC (and I was following it closely), she really didn't get mentioned as the cauldron lighter much. Most of the betting was on Sydney girl Dawn Fraser doing it (and even in the broadcast of the OC, as soon as she disappeared from her seat as Samaranch's "partner" (in place of his sick wife), it seemed to confirm she would do the deed. And Dawn herself (bless her bluntness) said afterwards she was a bit "crook" at not being chosen.

Funny thing is, I was probably gunning for Dawn myself in the lead-up (she was a neighbour of mine at the time). But now I'm glad she didn't get the honours and I'm sooo glad Cathy did.

Cathy really made her name winning gold at the Commonwealths. And her feuds with Arthur Tunstall of Commies Federation. Remember, she only got silver in Atlanta, and Marie Jose Perec's losing her nerve when she got to Sydney denied us nwhat would have been the grand match-up for the 400m.

Or grand disappointment, given that Freeman's gold medal was probably THE defining athletic moment of the Sydney Olympics.

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it be fair the brief was given to heatherwick was to design a temporary cauldron that each nation can depart with. so it was the brainchild of the london organizers or danny boyle himself. past physical cauldron has always go to a awkward phases during legacy. its not a sport facilities that people can use but it also has the memory of that games so you can't just destroy it. while some are in good condition being cared for by the government others are rotting a way in the streets (i'm looking at you Moscow) but at most, they are used as bird toilets.

i know that it's wrong that the cauldron was inaccessible during the two weeks or, to others, that placement of it was no right and it should be place on top of the stadium like a useless lighthouse. but you can't deny that this cauldron was successful in

being a symbol of these games and being 'liquidated' after that games.

I DENY it!! :lol: Actually, it didn't bother me at all that it wasn't seem by hordes of people..or that it was ephemeral. All I'm saying...and I'm not saying I agree with it or not...that there is NO remaining physical legacy of the 2012 torch. If the 1948 Games did it the same way, then Boyle & team would not have known where to place the Bell and the Heatherwick creation because...they placed it "...in the location of where the 1948 cauldron stood in the 1948 Wembley stadium." But since the 2012 cauldron did not have its own, original LOCATION, then how will the 2062 organizers know where to locate their cauldron?? I don't condemn or condone 2012 for what they did -- I mean, it's not my Games; but a cauldron that stayed behind would've been preferable than just being different for the sake of being different.

How about torches which were consumed by the flame? I mean...wow! ORIGINAL...let's do it!! Except what would you have in the few torch museums around the world? An empty case for London 2012 because they opted for biodegradable torches!! You get the analogy??

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I DENY it!! :lol: Actually, it didn't bother me at all that it wasn't seem by hordes of people..or that it was ephemeral. All I'm saying...and I'm not saying I agree with it or not...that there is NO remaining physical legacy of the 2012 torch. If the 1948 Games did it the same way, then Boyle & team would not have known where to place the Bell and the Heatherwick creation because...they placed it "...in the location of where the 1948 cauldron stood in the 1948 Wembley stadium." But since the 2012 cauldron did not have its own, original LOCATION, then how will the 2062 organizers know where to locate their cauldron?? I don't condemn or condone 2012 for what they did -- I mean, it's not my Games; but a cauldron that stayed behind would've been preferable than just being different for the sake of being different.

How about torches which were consumed by the flame? I mean...wow! ORIGINAL...let's do it!! Except what would you have in the few torch museums around the world? An empty case for London 2012 because they opted for biodegradable torches!! You get the analogy??

i think it's not about being different for the sake of being different more a solution of to problem that Olympic organizers want to address. where to put this cauldron after? it is in essence, useless but has a significant cultural value that you can't trow it away or abolish it.... much like the royal family.

also its not an empty case of london 2012. there are still 'petals' of cauldron around the world. the UK 'petal' might end up in the olympic museum.

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also its not an empty case of london 2012. there are still 'petals' of cauldron around the world. the UK 'petal' might end up in the olympic museum.

Ay...the analogy escapes you completely. I am aware of the "petals," -- those are part of the cauldron. I am talking about museums which show their collection of TORCHES. Oh, never mind...

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I find something a bit sad about a cauldron that no longer is a cauldron. London had the right idea. It existed for a brief moment in history and then was gone. Theres something very poetic about it.

davey - i agree - but still sad that there is no cauldron in olympic park to pay pilgrimage to. but the idea of the cauldron idea is a very poetic one and was very moving to see on the night of the ceremony - as hardly anyone knew where it was going to be or what it would look like!

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@illustrado: "here are some BTS videos from youtube"

Not so much "behind the scenes" as "right out in the glare of the spotlights"! Wobbly, but helpful in building up the performer's eye view of the event. Thank-you for finding them.

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Finally had a chance to watch that full 21-minute clip. I'd have to say it's rather boring watching it like that, i.e., from your seat. The idea of Boyle of trying to make it a "movie" for the home-viewer just leaves the stadium-viewer out of the loop. There are so many dead gaps...and "is that all there is happening" moments. And in Pandemonium and its break-down, there is just TOO MUCH going on all around for the stadium-viewer to piece it all together. (At least on TV, they were able to cut to show a specific group at a specific time.)

Also, what purpose did those people in the 'mosh pits' serve...other than to occupy space? Another one of the inexplicable ideas of Boyle. Am glad I didn't go to this one. I probably would NOT have enjoyed it. And I think that's why the Closing worked so well too. Just one major act took center stage; and it moved from one to the next. Boyle just had too MUCH chaos going on all over the place all the time for his Opening.

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@baron-pierreIV: "Am glad I didn't go to this one. I probably would NOT have enjoyed it. And I think that's why the Closing worked so well too. Just one major act took center stage; and it moved from one to the next."

By jove, I think that's it, the heart of the great conundrum! There are people who like things straightforward, and there are people who like things a bit crazy. The Opening worked for crazy-fans, the Closing not so much (such attempts at craziness as it did feature seemed forced and corny)- and vice versa.


@baron-pierreIV: "what purpose did those people in the 'mosh pits' serve"

They put part of the audience in among the performers for a more intimate experience. It's a big stadium, so there was plenty of room.

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The mosh pits were there as a nod to another great (& relatively modern) British institution, the Glastonbury music festival.

They also provided the opportunity for a selection of local ticket-holders to get very close to the action. By all accounts they had a wonderful time.

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@baron-pierreIV: "what purpose did those people in the 'mosh pits' serve"

They put part of the audience in among the performers for a more intimate experience. It's a big stadium, so there was plenty of room.

The mosh pits were there as a nod to another great (& relatively modern) British institution, the Glastonbury music festival.

They also provided the opportunity for a selection of local ticket-holders to get very close to the action. By all accounts they had a wonderful time.

Huh? Another unimaginative ploy by Danny Boyle. Might have been a thrill for those who got trapped in the mosh pit...but I still don't see what dramatic value it added to the show. Seemed like a cheap trick to me.

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Barry mate

You've missed the point again. They were not a "cheap trick", far from it. I'd have thought that from all the interviews Danny Boyle has given recently you'd have got a sense (if you hadn't already) where he's been coming. His sense of inclusivity for example.

Taking our music festivals as inspiration (the Glastonbury Tor?), they served a very PRACTICAL purpose in allowing a small number of people from the local area to experience the show very close up. That's it. That's all. They played virtually no role in the TV broadcast. It was simply a nice & memorable & thematically relevant way for some very lucky locals to experience the evening.

The mish pits were NOT there to add "dramatic value" to the show. Not at all.

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Barry mate

You've missed the point again. They were not a "cheap trick", far from it. I'd have thought that from all the interviews Danny Boyle has given recently you'd have got a sense (if you hadn't already) where he's been coming. His sense of inclusivity for example.

Taking our music festivals as inspiration (the Glastonbury Tor?), they served a very PRACTICAL purpose in allowing a small number of people from the local area to experience the show very close up. That's it. That's all. They played virtually no role in the TV broadcast. It was simply a nice & memorable & thematically relevant way for some very lucky locals to experience the evening.

The mish pits were NOT there to add "dramatic value" to the show. Not at all.

No, I DIDN'T miss it! Obviously, Boyle's intentions missed the target. I am NOT OBLIGATED to know everything British on seeing what is supposed to be an INTERNATIONAL show. It is the CEREMONIES' creators who failed to consider that they are catering to an int'l audience that will NOT get all the obscure local references. So, stop with this ridiculous 'You missed it' B/S! Boyle & co. were presumptuous in thinking that everyone would get all their 'local' references. If one were supposed to take a course on British history and mores to prepare for this show, well, I certainly missed the notice and didn't get the check for the reimbursement of the course.

DUH!!

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A couple of sources on London OC performers which I hadn't noticed before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Stronach/Pandemonium

and

http://www.lankatown.com/content.aspx?cid=361 (the author "Udara" modestly does not give his surname, but the cast list indicates he is Udara Yapa, who has played cricket for the University of Westminster).

PS:

@baron-pierreIV: "trapped"

No.

And please read volshy's message #2195 more carefully- your response was ludicrous.

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Oh, bullsh*t, Mark. R u in Danny Boyle's class? U guys are not communicating properly...so that the other party gets it. That's what was wrong with the OC. Sheer arrogance in thinking that EVERY earthling out there watching the show...was supposed to get EVERY reference conveyed by DB. If that isn't sheer arrogrance and supreme presumption, I don't know what is. :P

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Barry

I didn't notice the mosh pits at any point during the TV broadcast nor subsequently on the DVD.

They were NOT there for dramatic effect. They were NOT there for audience consumption and certainly NOT for the TV audience.

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Barry darling,

It is <YOU> that's presuming that Danny Boyle and his team were being presumptive regarding the international audiences knowledge of British culture & history.

How was I to understand all the references to Chinese culture & history in 2008? I wouldn't presume to. And I don't recall a seething anger & resentment on my part towards its director for not making it easier for me to.

I certainly wouldn't expect any Opening Ceremony to be 100% understood by the international audience. Why should it?

Maybe, just maybe they present an opportunity for the international viewer to go off & learn a little more about the host city & country.

Again, as a TV viewer, you weren't really meant to notice the mosh pits, so why make an issue out of them? Seems like criticism for criticism's sake.

Any chance to stick the boot into Danny Boyle & his team.

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