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SwissO

London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...

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You are absolutely right. I'm a traditionalist right with you.

It is a sad thing that slowly these traditions are eroding. Or they are becoming sloppy in the way it's managed or respected.

I am so surprised that the IOC does not take a stronger stand on protecting their most sacred symbol from being extinguished mid-games, and relit unceremoniously with a 'cherry picker'. . Same thing is beginning to occur with the Olympic Flag in the main stadium. Up till Sydney 2000/ Salt Lake 2002, you'll have it raised on a flagpole by itself - always on the corner right around the 120 meter mark where the track bends. Since then, strange things have been happening such as raising the host nation's flag on a similar height pole next to the Olympic Flag, or even worse, especially in London, lowering the flag and relocating the entire pole to the opposite end of the stadium, and allowing photos of a flag-less pole to be photographed together with an extinguished cauldron.

Now I know that the pole was located at the Thor, but if you looked at all the best ceremonies (esp. Sydney 2000), the Cauldron and the Olympic Flag Pole always took precedence over theatrics of the opening ceremony, and the set was build around these elements and when deconstructed for the main athletics event, these elements remained untouched. What is also equally shocking is how LOCOG is willing to allow photography of the flame being extinguished, flag removed from pole etc.. I would imagine that photographers should all be off limits to maintain dignity and integrity of these key symbols.

I am afraid London has set an unfortunate precedence for the future. :(

Thankfully Ric Birch is involved in Rio so he might finally bring back some order to the house!

I could not agree more, I wasn't going to mention the olympic flag thing as I thought I was being too nitpicky. I think the national flag equal level thing started in Athens. My purist side loved how no australian flag was even raised at the OC it was just the horseback flags and all about the olympic flag. I also think they should have had a way to keep the flag permanent and the tor dismantled around it (I actually with it would have been rather cool if they kept the tor through the athletics and used it as an unconventional podium for track a field).

These may all just be symbols but it really bugs me how people attack you for wanting the IOC to adhere to them. Like I have said, it is such a slippery slope, if the illusion of the cauldron or flag are lost what does next, turning off the cauldron to save gas in each night of the games.

I too welcome a return to birch style fanfares, marching bands, pomp and structure (Though DAE keep some of that spirit alive). That said it will be interesting what elements of Jack Morton and DAE style ceremonies (they have brought good fresh ideas and refinement aswell) he blends into his style in Rio.

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I completely missed out on this one: Weymouth is the only Olympic venue having a secondary Olympic cauldron - and it's one of the community cauldrons used in the torch relay. It was lit on July 28 by Ben Ainslie, with a flame from a lantern lit at the opening ceremony in London.

http://www.sailing.org/news/31910.php

Another article with another picture: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180374/London-2012-British-sailors-crest-wave-Sun-shines-gold-medal-hopefuls-Weymouth-welcomes-world.html

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and some baron-like guy came across...

Excuse me?? :blink: What have I done 2 u, dip...t??

@ the others, No, Adrian's bipolar nature showed. The Olympic euphoria has worn off and he doesn't give a sh*t. :lol:

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I completely missed out on this one: Weymouth is the only Olympic venue having a secondary Olympic cauldron - and it's one of the community cauldrons used in the torch relay. It was lit on July 28 by Ben Ainslie, with a flame from a lantern lit at the opening ceremony in London.

http://www.sailing.org/news/31910.php

Another article with another picture: http://www.dailymail...omes-world.html

So at least that is traditional...following Berlin 1936, London 48, Munik, Moscu & Beijing.

I was just referring to your *different* view on the opening ceremony.

I did NOT have too much of a problem with London's OC; it was Athens that was the bone of contention. As I said, London 2012's OC probably satsified me 7.5 out of 10.

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So at least that is traditional...following Berlin 1936, London 48, Munik, Moscu & Beijing.

Yep Baron, you're absolutely right, Stockholm with Melbourne in 1956 is another example and as I mentioned Calgary had plenty.

I like to whine, so I still don't really like it :P

London's is bearable as it is only a community cauldron

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I could not agree more, I wasn't going to mention the olympic flag thing as I thought I was being too nitpicky. I think the national flag equal level thing started in Athens. My purist side loved how no australian flag was even raised at the OC it was just the horseback flags and all about the olympic flag. I also think they should have had a way to keep the flag permanent and the tor dismantled around it (I actually with it would have been rather cool if they kept the tor through the athletics and used it as an unconventional podium for track a field).

These may all just be symbols but it really bugs me how people attack you for wanting the IOC to adhere to them. Like I have said, it is such a slippery slope, if the illusion of the cauldron or flag are lost what does next, turning off the cauldron to save gas in each night of the games.

I too welcome a return to birch style fanfares, marching bands, pomp and structure (Though DAE keep some of that spirit alive). That said it will be interesting what elements of Jack Morton and DAE style ceremonies (they have brought good fresh ideas and refinement aswell) he blends into his style in Rio.

Love your comment about Sydney's Horseback National Anthem. Who's to say that for the Opening Ceremony National Anthem you need to 'raise a flag on a pole?' For all things that they justify about being creative year on year, this 'flag on pole' thing is certainly a step backwards in recent games!

I'd love to see a flag flown by on helicoper (what they do at the Singapore National Parade, have a thousand kids paint the flag on their shirts as the anthem is played (like in Manchester 2002) etc... There are so many ways to get creative here, and save the only 'flag on pole' tradition for the Olympic Flag.

If I remember correctly, for the Closing Ceremony Sydney had the national flags of Greece, Australia and Greece risen on the medal winners poles, on the opposite end of the stadium. Problem solved!

Beijing was the most awful with four 'mega' flag poles stuck side-by-side and by the time the Olympic Flag was lowered, there was no drama or focus on that key symbol anymore.

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I might be wrong, but I believe that the first time the host nation's flag was hoisted during an Olympic opening ceremony was Atlanta 1996. Of all previous Olympic opening ceremonies of which I've seen footage, I only remember the anthem being sung without the hoisting of the flag. So it might be an American invention and Sydney were apparently the last Games who did it the classical way, without the flag being hoisted.

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Good observation, Olympian, I wonder what was done in Moscow and LA? I will have to check. I am a little divided, my pure side likes the way it was done in sydney (and previously) but I did kind of like the entire fanfare/welcome followed by vice regal salute and then carrying in of the Canadian flag (a la olympic flag style) by the mounties then hoisted segment of atkin's vancouver ceremony.

So I'm not sure how I feel, but I definitely do not like the equal height flagpoles As has been the case i think sie athens. Salt Lake i am not sure about either, I know they had the WTC flag that wasn't hoisted, I remember at the end of the anthem they hoisted an american flag but i forget it if was an equal footing. My my we are pedantic protocol freaks.........

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I like having the host nation's anthem. This is their moment in the spotlight. They've worked hard and invested a great deal. I think it's appropriate to honor them in his way. I do think it should be brief.

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Good observation, Olympian, I wonder what was done in Moscow and LA? I will have to check. I am a little divided, my pure side likes the way it was done in sydney (and previously) but I did kind of like the entire fanfare/welcome followed by vice regal salute and then carrying in of the Canadian flag (a la olympic flag style) by the mounties then hoisted segment of atkin's vancouver ceremony.

So I'm not sure how I feel, but I definitely do not like the equal height flagpoles As has been the case i think sie athens. Salt Lake i am not sure about either, I know they had the WTC flag that wasn't hoisted, I remember at the end of the anthem they hoisted an american flag but i forget it if was an equal footing. My my we are pedantic protocol freaks.........

A good compromise is what was done in Atlanta/ Salt Lake (as Olympian had pointed out as at both games, they did raise the US Flag there). The pole was located at the separate end of the stadium far away from the Olympic Flag, and was removed post ceremonies, so that the only flag flying through the games is the Olympic Flag. Just watching the Olympic Anthem performed at Atlanta gave me goosebumps. It looks so much more majestic on TV when the Olympic Flag is on it's own.

The main issue is the same pole height in close proximity to the Olympic Flag, and leaving the host nation's flag up through the competition. (Remember they need to 're-raise it' at the Closing Ceremony)... This seems to have started in Athens as Juso pointed out.

Interestingly I was just checking some of Beijing's Track and Field out, and they did remove the Chinese Flagpole, only to reinstate it again at the Closing.

After all, IMHO the Olympic Flag like the UN Flag should fly on it's own, as no nation is equal or above it?

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I think the Olympics are great, but they are not sacred. They are 2 weeks of Games overseen by 100 individuals who range from former athletes to nobility. Running a country is a far bigger deal. I would argue that any nation's flag is more important than the Olympic flag -- not the other way around.

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I think the Olympics are great, but they are not sacred. They are 2 weeks of Games overseen by 100 individuals who range from former athletes to nobility. Running a country is a far bigger deal. I would argue that any nation's flag is more important than the Olympic flag -- not the other way around.

I agree with what your saying (like I said before I am conflicted between the two styles), and I think the focus on the head of state and the national anthem and cultural segments do alot to honour the nation (which is a bigger deal).

Sydney, the example that started this discussion, did only raise the olympic flag, but it was hardly not nationalistic, there were over 100 australian flags on horseback, trumpets galore and arguably the best rendition of the Australian anthem that has even been. Symbolically, if the Olympic Flag is meant to respresent the world, 5 continents etc, it is a bit strange protocol wise to have a nations flag flying with it (less so at the otherside of the stadium, but especially side by side. The organisation itself, I agree, is not above nations, but the ideal, by its' very essence, is.

I also liked that the host was not above any others and only shared a flag high in the stadium with every other nation. Practically, the raising of a nation's flag is becoming an OC tradition now, and part of the pomp and pagentry, and everyone on these forums is beginning to realise how much I like those things.

One tradition that seems to be taking hold is the handover to the military flag party to raise the olympic flag, which I think is another way to honour the sentiments athensfan feels are important. I know this happened in Sydney, and by the video did not happen in Barcelona, does anyone know when this started?

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/A5CwoPTnrb4?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Revelant component from 7:50

PS I loved the acapella rendition of the Greek National Anthem at the Athens OC, espcially cutting to the Acropolis with flying flag.

Sorry someone has to teach me how to embed youtube on here:

ah......... I was overthinking it...lol

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I think the host nations flag should be raised and stand with the olympic flag, I see no problem with it! They have paid the most for the games, they have put the most hard work into them. They should be able to show off that this is their games, and they are the ones inviting the world to their country! To me its like saying 'welcome to our country!'. I dont understand why people would have any problem with it.

OK at the moment I may be bias as im from the UK. But I would be perfectly happy to see (and I expect) the Brazil flag at ther opening ceremony and good on them, Im sure their country will be proud to see it!

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Like I said before pjpauly2k, Leecz and I are being nitpicky and pedantic, your view is perfectly reasonable, though while I cannot speak for Leecz, I am unfortunately, not reasonable :P

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The tradition of letting members of the armed forces hoist the Olympic Flag is as old as the Olympic Flag itself. Until Rome 1960, soldiers were always those who also carried the Olympic Flag into the stadium - and they also hoisted it then, of course. Rome were the first Games that used athletes as flagbearers - I'm not sure whether the athletes also hoisted the flag. Tokyo and Mexico had soldiers as flagbearers again, then Munich started the now uninterrupted tradition of letting athletes carry the flag into the stadium.

I believe that only a relatively small number of Games did not have soldiers as Olympic Flag hoisters: Munich, Montreal, Moscow, LA, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta and Salt Lake come to my mind. All others had soldiers or at least members of the police (as in Vancouver) as flag hoisters.

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Thanks Olympian,

I personally think the balance of athletes carrying then handing over to a flag party is a nice balance, after all it is these armed forces that secure the games against terrorism and they make it look so swish....

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Sure, it could've been done better, but the London 2012 cauldron isn't that much of an affront to me. As long as there's a flame burning for the duration of the Games regardless of its location, then I'm good.

What I cannot accept is the idea of degrading the host country's flag and anthem during the OC. Come Games-time, it's their show and they can do whatever the hell they please in return for spending billions for the Olympics. Can you imagine the public anger if the IOC required that the host country's flag must be lower or not be raised at all/anthem not be played during the OC in the guise of equality for all participating nations?

In relation to all this talk about traditions, I think the Olympics is in need of updating. Obviously the sports line-up needs to be revised (how many of them are there just because of tradition even without a global appeal and participation?), but for me I also want to drop French as a mandatory language and Greek athletes being the first to enter the stadium. Even if I'm an Olympics enthusiast, I find these to be too archaic and lacking in gravitas to merit a spot in the traditions list nowadays. In a broader perspective, I feel that they just end up being a case of veneration without understanding for the general spectator.

And of course, most importantly, I hope that the IOC veers away from the mega-billion overblown Games and picks more sensible, sustainable bids. It's wishful thinking right now, but that's one tradition I would gladly welcome and am desperate to see being broken and ended.

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What I cannot accept is the idea of degrading the host country's flag and anthem during the OC. Come Games-time, it's their show and they can do whatever the hell they please in return for spending billions for the Olympics. Can you imagine the public anger if the IOC required that the host country's flag must be lower or not be raised at all/anthem not be played during the OC in the guise of equality for all participating nations?

whoa..... I dont think anyone has said on this thread or entire forum for that matter, that a national anthem should not be played during an opening ceremony. Personally the anthem segments and other nationalistic pomp are my favourite parts of the order of ceremonies (sydney, athens and vancouver included).

I was one to even say on the London OC thread that I was disappointed that god save the queen was not more pompy, nationalistic and grand!

I do not think anyone here was advocating for a rule to devalue any national flag or prohibit it from flying, it was just an open discussion about the way this has changed and whether it was for the better. There was no resolved thought on it either (I for oneI was swaying both ways) - as I said I liked the national flag carrying/raising in vancouver and didnt mind it in athens beijing or london.

Please note, there was no public anger in sydney that the australian flag was not raised side by side equal to the olympic flag, there were over a 100 in the stadium at the time of the anthem. This is a relatively new tradition

Perhaps now that raising the country's flag has become a tradition people could be angry that it does not happen, but seeing atlanta had the precedent and sydney followed you would think that the controversy would have started there if it were to start....

(100 australian flags I mean)

The flag has very little to do with this thread so I apologise for that....

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Talking about the olympic flag, here's an epic entrance in Barcelona:

Tied with the Ode to Joy from Barcelona in the number ten slot among all time favorite ceremony moments. But I digress.

Funny thing: I remember national anthems being played, bu no national flags being raised during OC until I believe Atlanta. Went back to national anthems only until SLC and they've been doing flag railings ever since, but the poles had until Beijing some distance from the Olympic flag pole to keep its supreme position.

I'm for the moment of national pride, but not so close to the Olympic flag pole. Should be on opposite ends of the stadium.

Oh, on topic... Everyone knows my views by now. On to Sochi, what say?

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whoa..... I dont think anyone has said on this thread or entire forum for that matter, that a national anthem should not be played during an opening ceremony.

Oops, I apologize for the rather hostile tone of my response. I got carried away with the flag/anthem bit and started imagining what-if scenarios. :P

Sydney's anthem is one of my all-time favorite segments in any OC ever. Even the horses' exit with the hundred fluttering flags gave me chills. I actually have the Julie Anthony mp3 in my iPod and I've managed to memorize the whole thing (better than most Australians -- I even know the entire 2nd verse, haha) because of repeated play.

Now back to the cauldron discussion.

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Oops, I apologize for the rather hostile tone of my response. I got carried away with the flag/anthem bit and started imagining what-if scenarios. :P

Sydney's anthem is one of my all-time favorite segments in any OC ever. Even the horses' exit with the hundred fluttering flags gave me chills. I actually have the Julie Anthony mp3 in my iPod and I've managed to memorize the whole thing (better than most Australians -- I even know the entire 2nd verse, haha) because of repeated play.

Now back to the cauldron discussion.

Not a worry we are all passionate here... was not offended anyway, just afeard that I was misunderstood......

Be not afeard, be not afeard.........:P

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Just got back home to Australia after illness and post I was also wrong with the Cauldron & its location and have eaten humble pie.

I think I had some Judge Judy moments and was a bit self righteous in looking for harder evidence and certainly didn’t like someone (the IOC Member) being attacked without being there to defend themselves. Perhaps I had too much coffee in posting with the large font, lol, back then but still, I know now I was wrong, and good on those who guessed it right all along (not me) -> as being linked to the symbols on the tickets and for Baron’s last minute tip that it would emerge infield, which it did.

To this day I still do not know what that flickering, flame-like thing was which appeared to be on the roof of the Stadium on the night before the OC (?).

Anyway, a big surprise that London’s Cauldron was indeed only an internal one - like Seoul and the other Games who have done this.

Like others have said, tv screen images outside the stadium of the Cauldron don’t cut it for those who dont have tickets to events in the Stadium.

It is after all the wider Olympic Symbol not just a Track and Field or Ceremonies symbol.

Like many here, I hope to goodness Rio does not fall for this ‘pattern’ and does indeed go back to a Cauldron that can be seen by the masses in a prominent ‘live’ position. I don’t mind if they cut Cauldron budgets and make them less elaborate but many do like the main Olympic Symbol, the Cauldron, to be seen blazing high, alive and well from afar.

On London's Cauldron itself:

I do love the Heatherwick Cauldron and the way it came to together during the Opening Ceremony.

On pure beauty (not its height), I think London’s Cauldron tops them all.

Followed closely by Sydney's gleaming metallic saucer on that mast.

On the method of lighting, I cannot separate Barcelona’s flaming arrow and Cathy touching the flame to the water in Sydney as equal first place. London is a close second.

For ‘wow moment’ - this is a hard one - London’s Cauldron lighting sequence was strangely a bit on the quiet side, beautiful but quiet. if we are judging audience reaction to it – but how do we judge how ‘wow’ a moment is?

Again I cannot separate Barcelona and Sydney for the audience cheering reaction to the big surprise moment and the jaw drop when watching those two. So again, it’s a very personal thing how each of us was wowed or not by London’s Cauldron when it was first lit. Each had their points.

So perhaps it is that London's 'moment' will be remembered as calm symbolic serenity, rather than audible & dramatic.

Loved London’s Cauldron lighting music and the way the petals gradually caught fire then rose together rather than a big whoomp dramatic explosion of flame that many Cauldrons have become.

Post lighting, I agree the London Cauldron looks forlon off to one side with the flame turned so low during the athletics (for safety reasons) that it is very much diminished and you easily forget it is even there.

Such a pity it has been sidelined to an almost invisible state like that, being such a beautiful Cauldron.

Edited by AustralianFan
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Good to have you back AustralianFan, there was some speculation by the gamesbids elite (and newbies like me) on what mind of happened to you. I imagined a games freak completely absorbed by the event with no time for idle chit chat.

I too will eat your humble pie, I thought with right till the video the night before that the orbit will be it, I do agree the Caliban's Dream music/song was great.

Welcome back...

what might* have happened to you..

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