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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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The idea is fantastic, both in terms of the petals representing each nation and how they had youngsters nominated by Olympic legends light it - but no use having a gorgeous cauldron with such a great idea behind it if nobody can see it.

What r u talking about? 4 billion saw it last night. Not all 4 billion are going to London; so what's the point of insisting that it sit 'outside'? It's not necessary.

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Design of London Olympic cauldron a well-kept secret

By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

The very first instruction to designers of London's Olympic cauldron was a blunt directive: no moving parts.

What resulted was an elaborate creation involving 204 moving pieces, each representing the coming together of the competing countries.

Two years in the making, creator Thomas Heatherwick said Saturday that test runs were done in secret in the north of England before the assembly was brought to the stadium and discreetly tested this week — but only after airspace restrictions prevented news helicopters from getting an advance look.

"It's great to have an opportunity to talk about this big secret we've been keeping for more than two years," Heatherwick said, looking bleary-eyed after Friday night's dramatic unveiling. "It did seem to work last night, which was a huge relief.''

Heatherwick said the design sought to project a world unified by sport.

Petal-shaped heat elements made from hammered copper were created for each country and then carried into the stadium by children during the parade of countries.

The "petals,'' each fitted with an igniter, were then whisked to the cauldron assembly area beneath the stadium floor where they were attached to stainless steel rods in preparation for lighting.

The packed stadium got its first look at the creation with the rods and petals arrayed on the ground in 10 rings, just as the torch arrived in a closely timed relay, starting on The River Thames.

From the time the torch was placed on the first petal, it took 45 seconds for each copper element to ignite, prompting the cauldron to rise from the ground, ultimately drawing each of the petals together at a height of about 28 feet.

"The essence of the Olympics is this raw thing, which is the flame,'' Heatherwick said.

In the end, the cauldron performed exactly as it did during the pre-dawn rehearsal, attended by just five people to ensure that the design remained a secret.

There was so much interest in the design, Heatherwick said, that local gambling houses were taking bets on whether it would be revealed before the ceremony.

"No bookie paid off,'' he said.

In addition, the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday that local gambling houses pledged to refund bets on who would light the cauldron. Normally, one person significant to the host country does the honor. This time, with the unique design, seven youngsters held torches to light it simultaneously, something no one could have predicted.

Unlike other recent Olympic host cities, which have traditionally displayed the flame atop the main stadium, Heatherwick said the London cauldron will remain inside the stadium in keeping with the 1948 London Olympic games.

"We wanted to keep it sitting with the spectators,'' Heatherwick said, adding that the public outside the stadium will be able to view it on video screens scattered throughout Olympic Park.

When the flame is extinguished, Heatherwick said the cauldron will be completely disassembled and each country will be provided with a scorched petal to carry home.

"Everyone has a piece in the end,'' he said.

http://www.usatoday....lame/56554566/1

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What r u talking about? 4 billion saw it last night. Not all 4 billion are going to London; so what's the point of insisting that it sit 'outside'? It's not necessary.

Because the cauldron is a symbol of the games, not just the climax of the ceremony. It's also not about it being on TV - the Olympics are in town and Londoners, visitors and athletes should be able to see the Olympic flame burning bright.

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Because the cauldron is a symbol of the games, not just the climax of the ceremony. It's also not about it being on TV - the Olympics are in town and Londoners, visitors and athletes should be able to see the Olympic flame burning bright.

But, say if I came to town only to watch gymnastics (at the Millenium, right?) or indoor Volleyball (at Earl's Court), then I still wouldn't see the friggin' cauldron anyway,right? So why this obsession with a fire structure that will only be incidental if you actually go to Olympic Park (if it were up there)??

Anyway....what if 2 or 3 countries boycotted at the last minute?? So,I guess they would've had to remove 2 or 3 petals, huh??

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Easy. If you have gas spewing out of 200+ vents, they'll catch fire quickly.

But they didn't all catch fire in a random succession. The first were lit by the seven torchbearers, then the remaining first row of 'petals', and after that it was row after row lighting up, so it was a controlled lighting. As I've read, each 'petal' had and igniter, which explains this.

So indeed every nation has its individual petal, due to the inscriptions - and therefore will probably get exactly that petal back after the Games. Nice!

I hope they clean the charred surface before. :lol:

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As a piece of attrative design, this cauldron really only works from its dead-center looking bottom-up.

So that's to say that it dosen't work.

From every other angle, it looks like a bunch of tightly packed trees in the winter whose tops are on fire.

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I can understand the disappointment. Vancouver's flame was very accessible (despite the ugly fence). But nearly everyone who came here in 2010 has a photo of themselves with the Olympic flame behind them. A video screen? Cop out.

Look, it is a nice design, but it was clearly over-thought by the designers and organizers. I don't think NOCs are itching to bring home a piece of copper...they want gold, silver and bronze. ;) But the millions in London right now are looking to bring back their piece of it. I'm glad it isn't on a high tower, however. But still, I can see the desire of people in London wanting want to see it in person.

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It's only 28 feet high (as we learned from the USA Today article on the previous page), so it shouldn't block any spectator's views. I'm asking myself, though, whether it will block the view onto the jumbotrons on the southern end (just like the bell did).

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I imagine on the ground level. On the stage it would get in the way of spectators.

But surely the heat might be too much for peopel above it even if its not directly in front of them?

I suppose they have everything figured out though. We'll see.

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Ohhhh I get it now why the organizers needed to ask the PM about the Cauldron.

"So we are going to need the government to spend all these money on this cauldron which in the past became monuments from the games, but after these games are over we are going to disassemble it and give the pieces to each competing countries here instead. U cool?"

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Nah...I think the upper bowl is far enough away for that to not be a concern. Yeah, I imagine a low lying stage at about ground level in that central gateway where the flame entered.

Ohhhh I get it now why the organizers needed to ask the PM about the Cauldron.

"So we are going to need the government to spend all these money on this cauldron which in the past became monuments from the games, but after these games are over we are going to disassemble it and give the pieces to each competing countries here instead. U cool?"

Ha ha! Well, at least one piece will get to stay in London. But who takes home the petal for the 'Independent Olympic Athletes'?

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Ha ha! Well, at least one piece will get to stay in London. But who takes home the petal for the 'Independent Olympic Athletes'?

I guess this one goes to South Sudan. The Netherlands will have theirs.

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Ha ha! Well, at least one piece will get to stay in London. But who takes home the petal for the 'Independent Olympic Athletes'?

Is that 204 including the IOA (how they love those acronyms....)? I thought the 204 was for accredited NOCs?

But that's kinda of an impractical idea. Distribute sooty petals (not unless London goes thru the trouble of washing them of all that soot before giving them as gifts)? But what is 1/204th of a sculpture? It's sort of a...oh, before you leave the museum, there's this little thing here from London by the corner...thing.

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I imagine on the ground level. On the stage it would get in the way of spectators.

But surely the heat might be too much for peopel above it even if its not directly in front of them?

I suppose they have everything figured out though. We'll see.

Thomas heatherwick confirmed in an interview that the cauldron will be placed where the bell was for the opening ceremony. Sorted.

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The Greeks will probably tell them to keep their cauldron piece, give them back the Acropolis marbles. Ooops. Did I go there? LOL

They could just run them through a dishwasher or something.

But will this cauldron be used during the Paralympics? If so, then the NOCs won't get their piece for a while. Unless they have specially made ones for the Paralympics, which I believe, attract a smaller number of NPC delegations.

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I honestly expect most of these petals to be either in the trash, stashed away in an NOC closet/locker/safe/filing cabinet, used as a paperweight on the NOC head's desk or reception desk or at the very worst, used as an ash tray!

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The Greeks will probably tell them to keep their cauldron piece, give them back the Acropolis marbles. Ooops. Did I go there? LOL

They could just run them through a dishwasher or something.

But will this cauldron be used during the Paralympics? If so, then the NOCs won't get their piece for a while. Unless they have specially made ones for the Paralympics, which I believe, attract a smaller number of NPC delegations.

The Paralympics will have the damaged petals. :P

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