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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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The annoying bit is they (Sydney) didn't save the stem as this was the bit that did the burning for the duration. Stil the saucer looks good as a fountain...And at least its doing something.

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I really like Sydney's cauldron. Its shape was very elegant and the flame burned beautifully and gracefully atop it (something that can't be said for most cauldrons nowadays, unfortunately).

The following at 20:50 is still one of the most beautiful images from any Ceremony. The cauldron slowing rising atop the stand, the stadium in full view, cameras flashing and reflecting off the cauldron, and the great voices of the evening's announcers. Very "Olympic." Stunning.

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The 'Glitch' is an epic save! Helped by soaking wet Cathy Freeman in a tight white racing suit and a long music bridge! The extra bit on the end of the VHS edition explains the total mayhem in the control room and the frantic reprogramming needed for the lift device to kick in...brilliant especially when they said Cathy 'should hold their attention for a while'....when it was ready to move they held back to wait for the music to finish' seamless!

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The 'Glitch' is an epic save! Helped by soaking wet Cathy Freeman in a tight white racing suit and a long music bridge! The extra bit on the end of the VHS edition explains the total mayhem in the control room and the frantic reprogramming needed for the lift device to kick in...brilliant especially when they said Cathy 'should hold their attention for a while'....when it was ready to move they held back to wait for the music to finish' seamless!

For sure! One would've never guess by the calmness of Cathy's face. I bet the whole stadium thought it was weird it was taking so long, but in the end they believed it was supposed to be be like that. :lol:

I've been wondering how the whole cauldron-rising-up-the-stand segment would've looked like if there wasn't that problem. How it should've gone along with the music... Would be very interesting to see a montage of that.

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So what's stopping Atlanta from doing this?...Coke can pay for it...Since they paid for the 96 games!

Let's find out! Who maintains/manages the Atlanta cauldron? Contacting the Centennial Olympic Park is easy enough.

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I really like Sydney's cauldron. Its shape was very elegant and the flame burned beautifully and gracefully atop it (something that can't be said for most cauldrons nowadays, unfortunately).

The following at 20:50 is still one of the most beautiful images from any Ceremony. The cauldron slowing rising atop the stand, the stadium in full view, cameras flashing and reflecting off the cauldron, and the great voices of the evening's announcers. Very "Olympic." Stunning.

My favourite lighting of the cauldron in Olympic history.

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i have an idea, for the cauldron.

you know how they light the cauldron for olympics in other cities?

well, london doesn't have a cauldron to light anymore.

i guess they have 1/200th of one.

what if they asked every NOC to light their cauldron torch thingie that they get.

then everyone would have one.

but i guess some will want to put it indoors.

but too bad.

that would be a lot of fun, if each NOC lit theirs in solidarity, or something at the same time.

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I think we'll see quite a few 'petals' being re-lit when they get to their new homes!

I would love to see the New Zealand petal lit for Valerie Adams when she finally gets her Gold medal that was robbed from her by Obstepcheck!

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Looking back.

The excellent:

Looking at the ticket design; how about many 'spindles' which are lit by dozens of torch bearers all converging on the structure at the same time. Then, once they're all lit, the 'spindles' mechanically all merge into one cauldron as the final torch bearers back away from it. The cauldron structure itself seems to be alive and taking the flames from all the torch bearers and creating one cauldron once it has been "fed".

That's my mad guess anyway. Like a giant set of rain chimes, but with lots more spindles....perhaps the torch bearers could fly in above it, lighting each 'spindle' before they mechanically converge forming one flame....

C034504B-45D1-48EF-8DDE-5E697B8303F8.jpg

And the pitiful: ;)

We had that discussion about the opening ceremony tickets before, and someone asked back then why they should give the look of the cauldron away in such a fashion. I ask the same question now. It doesn't make sense that they make such a big secret out of the cauldron's look and then publish it (or even only give hints) on their tickets.

http://www.gamesbids.com/forums/topic/21228-london-2012-olympic-cauldron/page__st__1000

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Skipped the last 20-30 pages but I think we're all on the same page.

The longer I see it "in action", I think that the idea behind the cauldron lighting and the design was extremely clever - but Heatherwick and Company completely failed in realising that the cauldron won't be burning only at the opening ceremony but for 17 days. The position of the cauldron there is totally ill-conceived. Even in the evening sessions of athletics, it can happen that you hardly recognise the flame because the scoreboard behind it is on. The cauldron is somewhat crouching there at the bottom of the southern stands - and only if you get a camera shot from a very well-chosen angle, the cauldron can be seen prominently. But usually, It doesn't stand out, it's far too modest and is even outshined by those damn scoreboards.

I hate to say: But this is the most unimpressively presented cauldron in Olympic history since Montreal 1976. Even the ugly Atlanta cauldron had at least one advantage over London's cauldron: It stood out, it couldn't be missed. I still love the idea behind London's cauldron design and that bottom-up shot I also have in my signature right now is probably one of the most impressive pictures ever taken of an Olympic cauldron. But it fails miserably as symbol during the Games. And the longer I see it, the more I hope that this will never ever be repeated by any future Olympic host.

Completely agree - it's a real shame as it could have been amazing in the right setting. That view up from the bottom of the cauldron was stunning on TV so if that could somehow have been replicated on a much bigger scale from the ground up to a decent height it would have been superb. It might have even worked at the size it was it it hadn't been shoved in an alleyway in front of a screen - it looked alright during the closing ceremony with a bit of space around it, so had it been a bit higher within the stadium with nothing for it to blend into (i.e. exactly where the bell was!) they might have got away with it, but ultimately it fails by not being visible by all during the games - especially when you consider how successful Olympic Park was at bringing in people without tickets to any events.

Athens has the best stadium design that wholly integrated the cauldron as part of the architecture, instead of a improvised after-thought like most games. For that, I applaud the organisers vision because it is the most elegant and majestic cauldron ever

Absolutely agree - how anyone cannot even seem to consider the cauldron in designing a purpose built Olympic Stadium is beyond belief. It doesn't even need to be completely open at one end to accomodate it - they just needed to be a bit cleverer in accomodating it and realise that how it looked for the two weeks during the games was far more important than people not being able to see it in the weeks prior to the games.

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  • 2 months later...

I think I disagree with almost everyone here about the Cauldron.

I think it's one of the most spectacular and original pieces of design I've ever seen.

The idea of there being almost 'no cauldron' but in other senses '204 cauldrons' was nothing short of genius!

The idea of each country 'bringing in' the cauldron and then being able to 'take it away' again was also mind-blowingly original.

London wanted to do the Games differently. They extended this notion to the design of one of the most iconic symbols of the Games as well.

I accept that some people were upset because the cauldron wasn't visible from other parts of the Park but for many people on here, this seems to totally negate the originality of the design: and frankly, anyone who belittles that is, in my opinion, being very foolish indeed!

To be relevant, the Olympics has to move forward. Yes, respect traditions but also develop them and place them in a 21st Century context.

Some people on here seem to view the entire Games in London as an unmitigated disaster because the stems on the cauldron weren't quite as high as they would have liked them to be!

As my 8-year old son would say: 'Get over yourself!'

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Hmmm. I actually haven't read any post on these boards that suggested London was "an unmitigated disaster". The overall reviews of London's Games range from "competent" on the low-end to "best ever" on the high end. The truth is probably in between.

As a sculpture, the cauldron is very unique. It's functionality (or lack thereof) is problematic. The fact that it was hidden for the first week and intentionally extinguished was very poor. Those issues don't detract from the piece's sculptural merit, but they certainly mean it is not one of the more successful cauldrons. Coe sneering that it was "not for the fans" and "not a tourist attraction" only made matters worse.

Good design does not compromise functionality for concept. It embraces both fully. London's cauldron failed to do that.

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I think it's one of the most spectacular and original pieces of design I've ever seen.

The idea of there being almost 'no cauldron' but in other senses '204 cauldrons' was nothing short of genius!

The idea of each country 'bringing in' the cauldron and then being able to 'take it away' again was also mind-blowingly original.

Yes, opened up and when moving to open or close, it is beautiful. But the 204 petals? A cute and almost original gimmick; but it's really just that...a gimmick. It was really a 21st century variation of two earlier similar strokes:

Pre-war, for Berlin 1936, the organizers sent home little oak saplings from a huge mother oak tree in Berlin, to all the gold medal winners. Some of those trees sprouted from those 1936 saplings that have survived, were traced and recorded by a Univ of Michigan arborist in 2010, including 2 surviving from Jesse Owens' haul of 4.

Post-war, still 20th century: In Atlanta 1996, before the flame left Athens for the US, ACOG, the Atlanta organizing committee, invited reps from the other 22 previous summer Olympic hosts to come to Athens and take away a "part of that 'Centennial' flame." So, 22 miner's lamps with the Oly flame were distributed to reps from those cities in a ceremony conducted at the Panathinaikos stadium. And then a sequential calendar was set up and to be followed until the flame began its run in the US. So since the ceremony was in Athens, Athens had the first Centennial Olympic flame day -- so, say, that event happened around April 15th, 1996, that was Athens' day.

- April 16th was celebrated in Paris (for their 2 hostings);

- then St. Louis on April 17th,

- London on April 18th,

- Stockholm April 19th,

- etc., etc. until the 1996 Torch Relay kicked off at the LA Memorial Coliseum. And then that was the start of an 84-day run across the US (84 honoring the 1984 LA Games); and then the flame burned for an additional 16 days in Atlanta, making a total of 100 (Centennial) days that the sacred flame from Olympia burned in the U.S. I thought that whole arrangement was just brilliant and they could NOT have created a more inclusive program of sharing the flame (until 2012).

So, this dispersal/diaspora idea, of taking away and bringing home a piece of something from the host mother flame (or something unique from the host country), is NOT exactly original and unique. London 2012 just did it grander (well, with a bigger budget, too). And frankly, I thought it was a better waste of money rather than that ridiculous bell which only rang, like what? 3x?

But those 'burnt' petals? Symbolic, but I am sure, looking very sorry when displayed alone in a glass case. I wonder what Sochi and Rio will next think of, just to top this 'sharing' scheme?

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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It was, I think, the ultimate TV cauldron, the ultimate "wow moment".

I can totally understand why purists were upset by London's cauldron, but I don't think the vast majority of people would have fretted too much over the awkwardness of its post-opening-ceremony logistics - they'd have seen the ceremony, been blown away, then moved on to watching the sport. Despite predicting what would happen a few weeks before (yeah, thought I'd get that in this post again), it still made me gasp when the moment came and the petals started moving. And I couldn't have predicted how beautiful the final "bowl" would be.

And no, it wasn't gimmicky to have the cauldron built and then dismantled again (though I wish I'd seen more of the "building" rather than the cameras just focussing on the athletes' entrances). It was the culmination of an incredible piece of engineering (the brief: no moving parts :lol:) and a well-thought out lighting sequence.

There are very few Olympic cities that get the cauldron AND the lighting perfect - one is more often than not compromised by the other. In fact, I don't think any summer host has had a "perfect" combination of everything since Barcelona really. Of course, in London's case, I'd have preferred it not to have to be relit in private afterwards, and it might have been nice for it to have a place in the Olympic Park, but on balance, if the way they did it was the only way the "wow moment" of the lighting could be acheived I am more than happy with the compromises that were made.

Edited by RobH
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I suppose part of my trouble is that, for me, the cauldron lighting was not a "wow" moment. I am not saying this to snipe at London at all. I just wasn't particularly excited by the lighting. So many cauldron lighters, so much preamble, so much fuss over the secret. And in the end it was a quiet, simple affair. I don't think there's anything wrong with making that choice at all. I just felt it was a more intimate and subdued approach. For me personally, the moment of the lighting did not justify keeping the cauldron out of sight for a week or extinguishing it on purpose. I personally didn't get enough payoff for that to make sense.

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I have to agree with Athensfan in the regard that the London cauldron lighting wasn't a real "wow" moment. Only the shots from below, showing how the petals joined and formed that radiating and almost hypnotising pattern of flames and "rays" (=the stems of the cauldron) impressed me deeply. But the cauldron lighting itself was actually pretty conventional (torchbearers dipping their torches into the bowl(s)) and also the rising of the stems wasn't technically overly exciting.

Compared to that, I was a lot more excited about how they would light the cauldrons in Sydney, Torino, Beijing and Vancouver. Those cauldron lightings had a lot more excitement and anticipation in the air, in parts also by the use of exciting music. The music was particularly dramatic in Athens, where the lighting method was already known (or guessable) and the mechanics were pretty conventional as well, but where they had an even more stunning image than in London when that lit cauldron was shown from behind, seemingly rising above the athletes.

So there was a lot more emotion/excitement involved for me in those previous lightings, while London's pretty simplistic lighting completely contradicted our month-long speculations about some spectacular lighting methods and cauldron locations. So it's no surprise that I viewed their cauldron lighting as pretty much of a letdown.

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There are very few Olympic cities that get the cauldron AND the lighting perfect - one is more often than not compromised by the other. In fact, I don't think any summer host has had a "perfect" combination of everything since Barcelona really.

I think Sydney and Athens were up there with Barcelona in terms of their originality, wow-moment and the cauldron itself.

In the last two decades those three have got to be the best. Just below them would be London, and below that Beijing, Salt Lake City and Atlanta.

Turin still seems an illigitimate joke, and Vancouver just outright shonky and awkward.

Edited by runningrings
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I think Sydney and Athens were up there with Barcelona in terms of their originality, wow-moment and the cauldron itself.

In the last two decades those three have got to be the best. Just below them would be London, and below that Beijing, Salt Lake City and Atlanta.

Turin still seems an illigitimate joke, and Vancouver just outright shonky and awkward.

Not far off disagreeing with that, though I wouldn't put London below those top three but amongst them.

I think the point for me is, London compromised the location for the lighting, whilst most hosts (to a greater of lesser extent) make the compromise the other way round. Beijing's lighting was massively compromised by the cauldron's position for me. Yes, you could appreciate the athleticism that it took to light it, but it was so drawn out that it didn't hit the mark - especially after the huge opening ceremony that preceded it. Atlanta was the worst example of this in the Summer Games, only really rescued by Ali and the emotional resonance that came with his lighting of the cauldron. And yes, Turin is not really worth talking about - the opposite end of the scale to what London did really.

It'll be interesting to see how Rio manages and what they compromise on. They've got a real rod for their backs with their two stadium situation and the massive roof that will be over the Maracana once built.

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I'm surprised that so many people didn't like the Beijing lighting that much. I thought that run around the roof was stunning and not at all drawn out. In fact, I was glad that one could hear that beautiful "You and Me" theme longer than just a few seconds. Hadn't the Beijing torch relay been so controversial (and the pictures of the torch relay projected on the rim were, of course, whitewashed), it could have been an even better lighting scenario. It made perfect sense to have a run around the roof symbolising the torch relay around the world.

OK, the fuse was a bit simplistic, compared to the technical extravaganza of the rest of the opening ceremony - but I still found that better than the original idea of having a projected phoenix "catch" the flame from Li Ning and then "light" the cauldron. That would have been a fake lighting à la Torino.

Plus: Beijing's lighting scenario had more of the pomp I actually expect of a cauldron lighting. It should be something massive and impressive, even if you combine it (like Beijing) with a sweet little tune. London's was a bit too low-key for my taste.

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