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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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What exactly has been the point of the last 160 pages, then? When did we cross the line into throwing away anything, potentially legitamate, anyone brings up in this thread simply because "it won't ma

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 w

I don't quite understand your reasoning that the 2012 location is showing more people worldwide the cauldron that had it been located elsewhere (ie roofline of stadium etc). The cauldron is always a f

Here are some quotes from the London Evening Standard re London's design etc. Every host city has to do it there own way. It might be helpful to remember that in ancient Olympia during the games the flame was probably burning in a small bowl on the temple steps so in one sense the London approach to go smaller is far more in keeping with the original games.

“In the Olympic Games, the stadium is the temple, and somehow this flame’s job is to be the altar,” Thomas Heatherwick tells me, the morning after the unveiling of his spectacular cauldron at the end of the Opening Ceremony. “There is a spiritual dimension, but without it being connected to any faith – the Olympics itself has its own power.”

It’s a point he makes with his design. His cauldron is a stirring tribute to the human spirit. Inspired by Danny Boyle’s desire to do away with bombast and connect the ceremony with people, Heatherwick decided not just to pay lip service to Olympian ideals, but to evoke his awe at the notion of 204 nations coming together in peace. And in turn he has inspired awe in us.

It is a work of visionary and poetic brilliance – a fitting culmination to a ceremony which opened with Blake and Shakespeare. He says he wanted to avoid “a shaped bowl on a stick” and the way he did so was breathtakingly beautiful.

Our first glimpse was of mysterious metal rods with cupped copper petals at their tips, lying low in the darkness. The spectacle which followed was terrifically moving – the gentle chain reaction as each of the 204 flames lit, forming a glowing ring; the steady waves of light moving up towards the centre in waves, forming a dome of beacons; and that final dazzling burst.

Like Boyle, Heatherwick looked to obscure, folkish British references – he was partly inspired by “the simple power of fire in the landscape” he found at the Hay on Fire Festival at Hay-on-Wye. But the elegant circles also aimed to create “an underwater moment”, like the movements of a jellyfish.

It is remarkable that a feat of complex mechanical engineering could be balletic and graceful as well as starkly powerful.

Thomas Heatherwick On…

WHAT THE PETALS SYMBOLISE

“We wondered if every country could bring a little piece, because that is what’s happening: each country is bringing a contribution to the Games, and it is the combination of all those that creates something bigger. Every single one of those copper objects is unique, we gave ourselves a lot more work by having to design 204 different objects. It felt like such an honour to do this, and so we spent thousands of hours designing each one, because we knew that the cauldron is not just some sort of theatre prop, one of those is going to sit there in a case somewhere, whether it is Liberia or Western Somoa, and it needed to be meaningful by itself. So when you see them together they are all jostling with each other, and we wanted there to be the gaps and cracks between them.”

WHY COPPER IS BETTER THAN GOLD

“We felt that gold, silver and bronze are pretty stitched up in the Olympics, and it could have so much obvious cheesiness - There is a raw quality to copper as a pure metal, and we find it in every home in our electrical wires and our boiler cupboards and our plumbing tubing”

GOING AGAINST THE BRIEF

“Our brief when the ceremonies team spoke to us with Danny was ‘could you design the cauldron? But whatever you do, don’t have any moving parts.’ There was this moment when we realised that the idea we felt really needed to be done used the most moving parts humanly possible to create a cauldron. So it is a pretty ultimate gadget, but it is a mechanical device, there is no trickery, there are no flashing LEDs.”

DANNY BOYLE

“It was great to work with Danny Boyle and his team, because he inspires the people around him in a special way. Even on the day of the Opening Ceremony, I was on the telephone with him for half an hour, to perfect how we would do the final lighting. The most high-pressured person in London, who had barely slept for weeks, wanted the artists around him to achieve what they wanted within the commissions that were part of his overview, his bigger vision. And he brought the best out of people around him.”

KEEPING IT SECRET

“We did all our rehearsals at three o’clock in the morning, because no one could know – no one, none of the volunteers, knew what the cauldron was. There were only about five or six of us in on it. Even while they were all practicing drumming and everything, underneath their feet was the cauldron, while everyone was imagining it was somewhere else, somewhere on the roof. The only time when the helicopter couldn’t fly over was when we tried out the movement and tested the flames - when everyone was out of the way.”

A PEOPLE’S CAULDRON

“With cauldrons, they have seemed to get bigger and bigger, and the spirit Danny was speaking about with his ceremony was to do with connecting more with people and rooting things, rather than them just being up in the air like a dream in the sky. And we were looking at pictures together in my studio, like the London 1948 games and there the cauldron was sitting in among the spectators in the stadium, it was there with everybody, it was a participant rather than a beacon in the sky.”

(Finally, I say good luck to Rio for a successful games. JB)

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"A people's cauldron" - yes, but only a cauldron for the people in the stadium.

"Connecting more with people" - yes, but only connecting with the people in the stadium.

"Rather than like a dream in the sky" - what's wrong with a shining beacon representative of each human being's dreams and hopes, sitting in an elevated location for everyone to see?

Being different just for the sake of being different is not always a good choice, Mr. Heatherwick. The concept of the 204 petals for each participating nation is beautiful, but it would have worked as well if it had sat at (or at least been moved to) the roof.

Here's the link to the article, by the way:

http://www.standard.co.uk/olympics/olympic-news/thomas-heatherwick-britain-is-a-cauldron-of-creativity-7987368.html

Oops, sorry - here's the correct link (but the other article is interesting as well): http://www.standard.co.uk/arts/visual-arts/the-olympic-cauldron--review-7987060.html

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I have to say that all the comments about the cauldron not being 'visible to everyone' and other similar phrases are quite fallacious. I assume what they mean is not visible to people in the Olympic Park only. The fact that it is located in the stadium means it is in the largest venue. Almost certainly the tv coverage of the events which have drawn the biggest viewing figures have been for track and field so in all probability the cauldron has been seen by more people because of its location in the stadium than would have been the case on an external tower or high up on the stadium itself. As has been pointed out several times the non Olympic Park venues wouldn't have a view of it wherever the cauldron was located.

What commentators really mean is that they would have preferred to have seen it located elsewhere...that's fine, as we all have our opinions and that is what this and other blogs are for, but, although I cannot prove it, the 2012 location is, in all likelihood, showing the cauldron to more people worldwide than if it had been located elsewhere.

London didn't want a 'bowl on a pole' and after all 'variety is the spice of life'. I, for one, would like to see something different again in Rio de Janeiro.

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He says he wanted to avoid “a shaped bowl on a stick” and the way he did so was breathtakingly beautiful.

Too bad that from a distance it looks like just that. A black bowl sitting on 204 sticks.

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I have to say that all the comments about the cauldron not being 'visible to everyone' and other similar phrases are quite fallacious. I assume what they mean is not visible to people in the Olympic Park only. The fact that it is located in the stadium means it is in the largest venue. Almost certainly the tv coverage of the events which have drawn the biggest viewing figures have been for track and field so in all probability the cauldron has been seen by more people because of its location in the stadium than would have been the case on an external tower or high up on the stadium itself. As has been pointed out several times the non Olympic Park venues wouldn't have a view of it wherever the cauldron was located.

What commentators really mean is that they would have preferred to have seen it located elsewhere...that's fine, as we all have our opinions and that is what this and other blogs are for, but, although I cannot prove it, the 2012 location is, in all likelihood, showing the cauldron to more people worldwide than if it had been located elsewhere.

London didn't want a 'bowl on a pole' and after all 'variety is the spice of life'. I, for one, would like to see something different again in Rio de Janeiro.

The flame is barely noticeable, even when watching truck and field events in the Olympic Stadium.

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The Big Screen is a distraction, but you do get good close ups at the end of races.

I think the sad legacy of what is an amazing Cauldron is how it was treated in the first week of the games...Including the horrific abandonment and dousing/re-lighting when it was moved to that awefull position where it is now.

However this should never detract from what have been an excellent Olympics themselves.

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The Big Screen is a distraction, but you do get good close ups at the end of races.

I think the sad legacy of what is an amazing Cauldron is how it was treated in the first week of the games...Including the horrific abandonment and dousing/re-lighting when it was moved to that awefull position where it is now.

However this should never detract from what have been an excellent Olympics themselves.

My thoughts exactly - I can't believe how some people get so caught up on trivia that make no difference to how successful the games are or not. This has definitely been one of the great games - and it's been the British spirit and enthusiasm that have made them so!

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Let's not act like people's dislike for the cauldron and its location is indicative of their general dislike for these Games.

I don't think the cauldron design is nice, its location is really unfortunate, but I would still love to be in London right now and continue to be generally impressed from afar by the way these Games have been prepared and now delivered.

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What commentators really mean is that they would have preferred to have seen it located elsewhere...that's fine, as we all have our opinions and that is what this and other blogs are for, but, although I cannot prove it, the 2012 location is, in all likelihood, showing the cauldron to more people worldwide than if it had been located elsewhere.

London didn't want a 'bowl on a pole' and after all 'variety is the spice of life'. I, for one, would like to see something different again in Rio de Janeiro.

I don't quite understand your reasoning that the 2012 location is showing more people worldwide the cauldron that had it been located elsewhere (ie roofline of stadium etc). The cauldron is always a focal point of olympic broadcasts, used as cutaway footage and montage work, I don't feel that these sort of shots have been more used in london, in fact, though I also cannot prove feel that there has been far less footage of the cauldron in at least CTV's and Nine/Foxtel's coverage of these games.

Perhaps you're suggesting that because it is at audience level you feel it is more visible in the track and field coverage? I am not sure if I would agree and would point to other comments in this thread about how hardly visible it is being blackened, low flamed and flanked by screens and crowd. The visibilty and prominence of this cauldron is quite poor when compared to track and field broadcasts of Athens and Sydney - that both had high angle shots of track events capturing the cauldron and both had great javelin shots of the cauldron and javeling flying in the foreground, environmentally friendly or not the high cylindrical flame produced by both these cauldrons (Also developed by FCT Flames) made them, IMHO far more prominent.

Beyond intentional and in stadium shots, if the London Cauldron had been on the roof, it would have, like in every other games featured in the background of every broadcasters wide shots and in the background of BBCs skybox all the time! The external view of the olympic stadium is always one of the most viewed and enduring images of any games and the cauldron is usually a part of that. This is what usually happens and why so many people on this forum are saddened by the placement.

Nobody is saying they want a bowl on a pole look, yet I think this statement is a little unfair, please point to an olympic cauldron that has followed the traditional bowl on a pole look since barcelona/lilihammer?

Perhaps salt lake can be argued to hold a bowl though it was quite a unique modern spin with glass and water cooling. Maybe sydney, though it was a dish not a bowl and again was, by design a modern interpretation of a classical cauldron, and in its legacy form is definitely not a bowl on pole. I actually feel that especially in the past twelve years cauldrons have been very unique.

Furthermore, no one (to my knowledge) on this forum disagrees with you regarding the symbolism and overall concept of the cauldron (200 nations coming together etc), but they do have a problem with scale, position and extinguishment/movement of the London cauldron.

The very design of the london cauldron was speculated earlier in this thread and was published in a concept drawing almost as is, but alot taller so that it would have been visible. I even agree thomas heatherwick's design is beautiful and unique, but has others have said, it can be argued that it is functionally flawed design for its intended purpose. The IOC may disagree with us but that's their right.

Like you have said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and allowed to appreciate heatherwick's design and the positioning of the cauldron in echo to 1948, however, I feel concluding that past cauldrons are all bowl's on a pole or arguing that its position in the stadium somehow makes it the most viewed cauldron are stretching it a little far...

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I really loved the idea of Vancouver Cauldron set up in a public space.

That gives the idea that Olympics is for everyone and not only for those who pay for the tickets into the venues or clusters...

If Santiago gets the Panamerican Games in 2019, I'd really love a cauldron in a main square, in the middle of the city!!!!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Rio should follow Vancouver concept!!!

JP-Plaza-night-e1295209368304.jpg

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I really loved the idea of Vancouver Cauldron set up in a public space.

That gives the idea that Olympics is for everyone and not only for those who pay for the tickets into the venues or clusters...

If Santiago gets the Panamerican Games in 2019, I'd really love a cauldron in a main square, in the middle of the city!!!!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Rio should follow Vancouver concept!!!

JP-Plaza-night-e1295209368304.jpg

I agree, specifically for the Winter Olympics, where the main stadium is not a sport venue and there is not usually a main olympic park, I think this would be a great idea.

But, I disagree with the moving of the cauldron from the main stadium/main olympic park in summer games to a general square in the downtown/cbd district of a city. I guess I am a traditionalist and feel the summer cauldron should be lit and reside in on or near the main stadium. (this becomes more confusing in Rio)

Also, I think that an olympic park should be accessible during the games for non ticket holders to achieve the same access as was produced by Vancouver's city cauldron.

I would hope that you can get a day pass in london on certain days to the park - does anyone know? I know in Sydney you could freely access the park without an event ticket for most of the olympics bar a few days towards the end where the multiple series of events on in the main stadium in one day caused concerns about overcrowding (moving 110,000 people out with another 110,000 coming in plus another 80,000 in the rest of the park).

Conversely, even for the winter olympics these public square cauldrons cause some problems. I saw the vancouver cauldron in person and loved jack poole plaza, the problem with the vancouver cauldron, although the placement and scale made it accessible to the public, it was those characterisitics that also led to it being enclosed by fences and making it more blatantly inaccessible than a stadium cauldron.

The advantage of stadium cauldrons is that they are usually (not in London of course) high enough to be seen closely but not be behind fences that disconnect the crowds from the flame. In Athens, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Torino one could stand almost underneath the cauldron and see it soar above them. (one of my most fond memories)

It is a difficult conundrum that neither solution provides the best of both worlds.

Sochi will no doubt have the best balance, as they will likely have a stadium external cauldron that due to the layout of their olympic park will be visible from everywhere in the park and visible from the medals plaza at the centre of park.

Rio is more confusing, though I feel a compromise would be to have a permanent cauldron at the olympic park and a temporary at the ceremonies stadium. I would prefer this to multiple cauldrons all lit everywhere at the same time throughout the whole games.

IMO there should be one olympic cauldron for the duration of the games (I didn't like the whistler one or hong kong, or the multiple in calgary). Though I accept that lighting/extinguishing a replica at the ceremonies is going to become a more commonplace and necessary evil.

Also I think there are other ways to make olympic spirit attractions downtown. Examples include: Sydney's olympic rings on the harbour bridge, live sites and closing downtown fireworks. Or Vancouver's laser light shows and London's many giant rings etc..

I really have to stop writing long posts... just my two cents, feel free to ignore...

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The cauldron is sh@t - pile of c@nt - I don't like how the it exhibits flames - just weird that there are flames coming out of it - can't we have water or sumfink?

Is this really adrian??

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Is this really adrian??

Yes, very strange indeed that he is writing in such a manner now, especially after he originally announced he would leave the forum now that the opening ceremony is over.

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Yes, very strange indeed that he is writing in such a manner now, especially after he originally announced he would leave the forum now that the opening ceremony is over.

I don't think it's him. There's also other postings in other threads that's full of vulgarity and Brit trashing which I don't think is adrians style

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Or maybe he had a drink too much? All those vulgar posts are from last night...

[searchInKey]=&userMode=content"]http://www.gamesbids.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=user_activity&search_app=forums&mid=2590&sid=68ffc9a7ba046f5549028d1c07590e4e&search_app_filters[forums][searchInKey]=&userMode=content

Any by the way, adding to the posting mystery: AustralianFan who was so extremely active in this thread hasn't posted since opening night:

[searchInKey]=&userMode=content"]http://www.gamesbids.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=user_activity&search_app=forums&mid=56301&sid=a830244358a751d28870910829b79f99&search_app_filters[forums][searchInKey]=&userMode=content

Would have been interesting to know what he thinks about the actual cauldron, after he had been so convinced that the ATR report about the cauldron being inside the stadium was wrong.

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I like to think AustralianFan is too outraged about the cauldron to bother logging on anymore. :lol: The guy really betted on the Orbit till the final few days.

In all seriousness, I suppose some people might like to enjoy the Games outside the forum.

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I like to think AustralianFan is too outraged about the cauldron to bother logging on anymore. :lol: The guy really betted on the Orbit till the final few days.

In all seriousness, I suppose some people might like to enjoy the Games outside the forum.

Yes, I suspect AustralianFan was rightly mortified that his cauldron predictions were so horribly wrong. In his final posts he was still insisting the cauldron would be visible from outside the stadium and that Oswald and/or ATR were liars. For some reason, the cauldron thread seemed to be his primary interest. He rarely posted anywhere else....

As for Adrian, it doesn't sound like him. At first I thought he was trying to be sarcastic, but only a large amount of alcohol (and some very bad days) could explain such a dramatic shift in tone -- if indeed it is him.

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I don't quite understand your reasoning that the 2012 location is showing more people worldwide the cauldron that had it been located elsewhere (ie roofline of stadium etc). The cauldron is always a focal point of olympic broadcasts, used as cutaway footage and montage work, I don't feel that these sort of shots have been more used in london, in fact, though I also cannot prove feel that there has been far less footage of the cauldron in at least CTV's and Nine/Foxtel's coverage of these games.

Perhaps you're suggesting that because it is at audience level you feel it is more visible in the track and field coverage? I am not sure if I would agree and would point to other comments in this thread about how hardly visible it is being blackened, low flamed and flanked by screens and crowd. The visibilty and prominence of this cauldron is quite poor when compared to track and field broadcasts of Athens and Sydney - that both had high angle shots of track events capturing the cauldron and both had great javelin shots of the cauldron and javeling flying in the foreground, environmentally friendly or not the high cylindrical flame produced by both these cauldrons (Also developed by FCT Flames) made them, IMHO far more prominent.

Beyond intentional and in stadium shots, if the London Cauldron had been on the roof, it would have, like in every other games featured in the background of every broadcasters wide shots and in the background of BBCs skybox all the time! The external view of the olympic stadium is always one of the most viewed and enduring images of any games and the cauldron is usually a part of that. This is what usually happens and why so many people on this forum are saddened by the placement.

Nobody is saying they want a bowl on a pole look, yet I think this statement is a little unfair, please point to an olympic cauldron that has followed the traditional bowl on a pole look since barcelona/lilihammer?

Perhaps salt lake can be argued to hold a bowl though it was quite a unique modern spin with glass and water cooling. Maybe sydney, though it was a dish not a bowl and again was, by design a modern interpretation of a classical cauldron, and in its legacy form is definitely not a bowl on pole. I actually feel that especially in the past twelve years cauldrons have been very unique.

Furthermore, no one (to my knowledge) on this forum disagrees with you regarding the symbolism and overall concept of the cauldron (200 nations coming together etc), but they do have a problem with scale, position and extinguishment/movement of the London cauldron.

The very design of the london cauldron was speculated earlier in this thread and was published in a concept drawing almost as is, but alot taller so that it would have been visible. I even agree thomas heatherwick's design is beautiful and unique, but has others have said, it can be argued that it is functionally flawed design for its intended purpose. The IOC may disagree with us but that's their right.

Like you have said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and allowed to appreciate heatherwick's design and the positioning of the cauldron in echo to 1948, however, I feel concluding that past cauldrons are all bowl's on a pole or arguing that its position in the stadium somehow makes it the most viewed cauldron are stretching it a little far...

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!

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Or maybe he had a drink too much? All those vulgar posts are from last night...

Don''t think so.

11:20 pm

Good - thank god - he did his job well!

11:24 pm

It was a pile of c@nt - too british & no fooker understood it. Also didn't like the colour - the people - the climate - continue ad infinitum .......

Seems more that he forgot to log out and some baron-like guy came across...

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