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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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It's a nice idea (an even better one if it took place inside the stadium on the supposed/rumored/alleged moat), but the size of those two pillars (or even just one) would have to be huge in order to be seen from the inside the stadium. Any cauldron structure built outside the stadium would have to sizably taller than Torino's because London's stadium's floodlights reach so high up into the air above the roof. But there's not enough space in those canals which are bridged over many times by spectators pathways for such big a structure.

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What if the cauldron wasn't stationary? Like what if it were something that could be moved about from place to place through out the Games? Yes, Day 1 it is at the Olympic Stadium. Day 2 it is at Trafalgar Square. Day 3 it is at Tower Bridge. Day 4 it is at Hyde Park. Day 5 it is on a barge on the Thames. Day 6 it is Greenwich Park. And so on. After all, we are in a mobile world...and the Brits do love their mobiles. ;)

Looking at Heatherwick's designs from previous projects, a lot of them have that compact, chunky (although dynamic) aspect to them like the B of the Bang and the UK Pavilion. Not the tall, sleek tower style that most of us have come to expect in our Olympic Cauldrons (like Salt Lake and Athens).

I think the most critical thing for the lighting of any cauldron is that it be viewed by everyone in the stadium, especially the athletes. That creates an atmosphere and excitement that spills out through to the large global television audience. If you look at Torino, for example, the cauldron being detached and outside of the stadium also made the lighting seem detached and outside from the ceremony and the audience (including the athletes). Even with Vancouver's muck up, the focal point of the flame lighting was down and to the center of the stadium, which, when it comes right down to it, is the way stadiums are designed. Everyone was facing it and they didn't have to turn their heads or strain their necks.

Another thing to consider that was very apparent with the Vancouver flame is that people very much want to congregate near the flame and get their picture taken with it. If it is locked away in a stadium or on the top of a tower somewhere, that isn't always easy. Even with the misstep of that ugly fence, the Vancouver flame was very accessible to the masses in the streets. LOCOG observers made a note of that. You may not have had a ticket to an event, but you could still get close enough to the Olympic flame to feel its heat and snap a photo for your Facebook profile. You couldn't really do that in Beijing, Torino or Athens.

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Has anyone taken a look at the venue seating plans for both the Opening Ceremony and Athletics?

Opening Ceremony: http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/Venue/01/24/17/29/KDVENUESTAOpeningCeremony_Neutral.pdf

Athletics: http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/Venue/01/24/17/14/KDVENUESTAAthletics_Neutral.pdf

They don't appear to be plugging the seating gap by Block 121 for the Athelitcs. Could this mean that whatever they're building the stage for at this end of the stadium, be it the bell, cauldron or something else, will stay there for the duration of the Games?

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/\/\ I don't think one can infer anything from those layouts. For one thing, the stage will actually be in Section 150 (NOT 121). The map's "North" is to the left. And the special "camera section" (for the straightaway races like the 100m) is going to be around Block 118 ( which is already seen in some photos). And obviously, these 2 maps avoid pinpointing the "cauldron" location. So they don't really indicated anything. I think those maps are for the Ticket-takers and Ushers' benefits.

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Well, here's my Mum and Dad story about the Olys and Opening Ceremony. (For the newbies here) I was in the Atlanta 1996 Opening Ceremony cast, so I thought it would be nice if the folks could come. (They were living in California at the time and still spry and mobile then.) So I got them a pair of (Category "C" tickets even if it meant they would have to climb to the near top--but that was all I could afford at the time).to the Opening Ceremony as my 50th wedding anniversary gift to them. I would put them up in my apt when they came to town. However, as the time drew closer, they had a change of heart (their decision) and said they wouldn't come.

Well, I always had a back-up plan that if they didn't want them (and I wasn't going to force them), then I could make some $$ by reselling them. There was no shortage of takers. So I was able to sell those $225/ea ticket for nearly 95% more--so I think I was able to resell them for like $425 each. (In addition to the two Dress Rehearsal tix which I sold to the Japanese press for like $125 each + a big lobster dinner. I think that was the most expensive meal I've ever had, courtesy of someone else's expense account. I ordered the $72 lobster!!) Heh-heh. Thanks, grand-grandpere Coubertin!! :lol::lol:

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Hey, this 'cauldron-rising-from the-canals' business....I was first with that last year (and it's documented in mi book, SECRETS OF THE OLYMPIC CEREMONIES...now available in eBook versions too in the UK and Europe).

Except mine was the Lady of the Lake idea where the lady would arise from murky waters with torch in hand!!

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/\/\ I don't think one can infer anything from those layouts. For one thing, the stage will actually be in Section 150 (NOT 121). The map's "North" is to the left. And the special "camera section" (for the straightaway races like the 100m) is going to be around Block 118 ( which is already seen in some photos). And obviously, these 2 maps avoid pinpointing the "cauldron" location. So they don't really indicated anything. I think those maps are for the Ticket-takers and Ushers' benefits.

Right you are. The gap at 121 is just one of the tunnels, as can be seen in my signature picture below. Oh well, the thought was fun while it lasted.

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Did Cathy Freeman really walk on the cauldron as she walked on the water to the middle of the stage before lighting it? There was a slight angle to that cauldron but when she walks it looks like she is walking on a flat surface.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your experiences AustraliaFan. Very insightful! I do wonder how witnessing Beijing's OC was like though - that cauldron moved into place in darkness during the Parade of Nations when no one was paying attention to the roof. I've never seen footage video of it tilting over the rim of the roof's so I doubt many people really noticed it despite how big it is.

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Sydney's cauldron's pause before climbing the grandstand really is rather long. I wonder if it was meant to pause at all before climbing up or if it was suppose to be all one continuous movement from underneath the water to the top of the stadium. I think it's clear that the fireworks in the distance as well as the change of music were suppose to happen once the cauldron was finally in place at the top, not as it was climbing the grandstand; the delay bumped everything else up in the sequence. For example, the pedestal holding the cauldron was still moving upwards with the cauldron in place as John Stanton gave the night's closing announcements as

.

As for Beijing, I think I remember watching footage on Youtube of the Mexican broadcaster with the commentators noticing the cauldron in place during the speeches and cutting to a shot of it shrouded in darkness but I can't find the video anywhere now.

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It's a nice idea (an even better one if it took place inside the stadium on the supposed/rumored/alleged moat), but the size of those two pillars (or even just one) would have to be huge in order to be seen from the inside the stadium. Any cauldron structure built outside the stadium would have to sizably taller than Torino's because London's stadium's floodlights reach so high up into the air above the roof. But there's not enough space in those canals which are bridged over many times by spectators pathways for such big a structure.

I agree the floodlights on the stadium are definitely an issue. A structure that tall would need a lot of support or a large foundation. I'm not saying it's impossible, but thinking about that, it does seem improbable. Unless...

During the lighting, they don't need all those floodlights on. Perhaps they can drop forward to provide a better view of cauldron? Even so, a large portion of the audience would not see the lighting, so it's not likely to happen. And I agree with Kanadian (below) that the lighting should first and foremost be seen by the athletes and everyone in the stadium.

What if the cauldron wasn't stationary? Like what if it were something that could be moved about from place to place through out the Games? Yes, Day 1 it is at the Olympic Stadium. Day 2 it is at Trafalgar Square. Day 3 it is at Tower Bridge. Day 4 it is at Hyde Park. Day 5 it is on a barge on the Thames. Day 6 it is Greenwich Park. And so on. After all, we are in a mobile world...and the Brits do love their mobiles. ;)

...

I think the most critical thing for the lighting of any cauldron is that it be viewed by everyone in the stadium, especially the athletes. That creates an atmosphere and excitement that spills out through to the large global television audience. If you look at Torino, for example, the cauldron being detached and outside of the stadium also made the lighting seem detached and outside from the ceremony and the audience (including the athletes). Even with Vancouver's muck up, the focal point of the flame lighting was down and to the center of the stadium, which, when it comes right down to it, is the way stadiums are designed. Everyone was facing it and they didn't have to turn their heads or strain their necks.

I love the idea of a mobile cauldron. As long as they make the lighting of it very dramatic (like Sydney's), I'd be perfectly fine with that. Even something small can present an engineering challenge, so I could be satisfied with that. :)

Thanks Bra-tac, great assessment. Yes, its going to have to be some mighty tall structure to get above the stadium roof in order to be seen by most inside. A telescoping Cauldron sounds intriguing too and if it did happen, would probably resemble at first an alien-type War of the Worlds structure appearing suddenly out of the depths from its sleep to tower over everyone. More aerial photos from Jason Hawkes might catch some more suspect activity in and around the stadium and canals areas.

What do you make of the latest stage structures inside the Stadium form Jason Hawkes collection?

Hmmm... War of the Worlds probably isn't the best thing to get people to think of during the Olympics.

The staging area being setup in the middle right now isn't very tall (maybe 2 meters). It would be tough to hide something large like a cauldron (I'd hope it would be larger than 2 meters) under the stage, unless it's some sort of collapsible cauldron. The stage on the right looks very intriguing, but the picture on Jason's site isn't very large (at least the free one isn't), so I can't get a close look.

Overall, London's stadium provides a lot of limitations. I would hope they considered the cauldron when designing those limitations, but everyone makes mistakes.

In my mind, I haven't ruled out something that might come out of the top of the stadium because I can't find a high res picture or diagram of the wires running across the stadium. They could setup some rigging that could carry the cauldron up the the outer structure of the stadium. The structure looks strong enough to support additional weight from a preliminary inspection. Then again, a "flying" cauldron would basically have to be a flying propane tank on fire, and that doesn't sound very safe.

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The staging area being setup in the middle right now isn't very tall (maybe 2 meters). It would be tough to hide something large like a cauldron (I'd hope it would be larger than 2 meters) under the stage, unless it's some sort of collapsible cauldron.

It looks like London is using the same template as Vancouver insofar as a raised center stage. TO accommodate the interior brazier when it rose to its full 25 feet, they had to break through BC Place' concrete floor and still dig an 18-foot hole in order to accommodate the brazier, plus another 6 feet for the raised stage, so there was just enough room there for the hydraulic left. I feel it's going to be the same because what else would a center hole be used for, esp since there are no other tunnels underneath than infield. The cauldron will rise from there...and then be transferred later to some other higher tower-cauldron.

P.S. I mean the outside cauldron doesn't have to be seen that very night. Other than the people in the stadium, everyone else will be watching it on TV, so there is NO need to light an exterior cauldron that night. The whole world would've already seen the stage cauldron lit during the show.

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Well, here's my Mum and Dad story about the Olys and Opening Ceremony. (For the newbies here) I was in the Atlanta 1996 Opening Ceremony cast, so I thought it would be nice if the folks could come. (They were living in California at the time and still spry and mobile then.) So I got them a pair of (Category "C" tickets even if it meant they would have to climb to the near top--but that was all I could afford at the time).to the Opening Ceremony as my 50th wedding anniversary gift to them. I would put them up in my apt when they came to town. However, as the time drew closer, they had a change of heart (their decision) and said they wouldn't come.

Well, I always had a back-up plan that if they didn't want them (and I wasn't going to force them), then I could make some $$ by reselling them. There was no shortage of takers. So I was able to sell those $225/ea ticket for nearly 95% more--so I think I was able to resell them for like $425 each. (In addition to the two Dress Rehearsal tix which I sold to the Japanese press for like $125 each + a big lobster dinner. I think that was the most expensive meal I've ever had, courtesy of someone else's expense account. I ordered the $72 lobster!!) Heh-heh. Thanks, grand-grandpere Coubertin!! :lol::lol:

What part did you have in the ceremony if you don't mind me asking???

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During the lighting, they don't need all those floodlights on. Perhaps they can drop forward to provide a better view of cauldron?

Overall, London's stadium provides a lot of limitations. I would hope they considered the cauldron when designing those limitations, but everyone makes mistakes.

In my mind, I haven't ruled out something that might come out of the top of the stadium because I can't find a high res picture or diagram of the wires running across the stadium. They could setup some rigging that could carry the cauldron up the the outer structure of the stadium. The structure looks strong enough to support additional weight from a preliminary inspection.

There was a great show on National Geographic last week called London's Olympic Stadium. It focused on more how the stadium could be taken apart again and the restrictions on size that the plot had to bear and didn't mention anything about the Ceremonies at all in terms of the stadium design. That could, of course, be to avoid giving anything away. However, they did make a big deal about the cable structure of the roof and how fragile the balancing act was even in putting up the lights to avoid undue stress being put on the inner ring which might make it dip too much at one end and create instability. For that reason alone, I'd say it's unlikely that the cauldron will be placed up on that ring since I'm sure the weight would be substantial and there would be nothing to counter-balance it.

I have a few pics that I took at the 2012 hours to go event and there aren't many gaps in the wires that criss cross the stadium. I came out of the event thinking that I was till none the wiser as to where it could possibly be!

It would be interesting to see that Beijing footage if it surfaces again as I am fascinated by behind the scenes work in big shows.

I have some friends working in 'staging' and 'props' after missing out on a cast role in the ceremonies. They say that it's an amazing experience watching how much detailed planning there is for something that's only a few hours long. Obviously, they are giving nothing away though!

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Hey Guys,

I only created my account to be able to take part in your discussion about the olympic cauldron.

I`ve been following your ideas over the last few weeks now and I really like all of them. Nevertheless I`ve found another (possible!?) location for the cauldron in Olympic Park but

I have to admit that this position would be quite far away from the big stadium but I don`t get rid of the feeling that it looks like a big concrete foundation with a non-finished construction on it. What do you guys think?

(by the way, in my opinion this photo is taken from a very rare angle, you can barely get an “official” picture where you can see this part of the Olympic Park on (maybe another evidence?))

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Hey Guys,

I only created my account to be able to take part in your discussion about the olympic cauldron.

I`ve been following your ideas over the last few weeks now and I really like all of them. Nevertheless I`ve found another (possible!?) location for the cauldron in Olympic Park but

I have to admit that this position would be quite far away from the big stadium but I don`t get rid of the feeling that it looks like a big concrete foundation with a non-finished construction on it. What do you guys think?

(by the way, in my opinion this photo is taken from a very rare angle, you can barely get an “official” picture where you can see this part of the Olympic Park on (maybe another evidence?))

Welcome Matt.

You have to upload your pics on a online server, as http://imageshack.us/ and copy/paste the link on the image "template" here !

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Welcome, too, Matt05,

1. When you post something from ImageShack, etc., copy the IMG url thing; paste it here but make sure you envelop it in the ... codes.

2. I don't think that location would work because it is too far away from the stadium. It must be visible to the stadium for Closing as well because the extinguishing of the flame is also a special moment at Closing...so it must be within the stadium audience's visual scope.

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Haha thank you !!! well i think now i know how to add an image :D It is obvious that they are building something over there but you`re right it`s actually pretty far away from the original stadium although it`s quite in the center of the Olympic Park in general.

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But why? You have to think of the gas lines...where they are already laid out. That is the key.

Do we know that there aren't gas lines anywhere in the Olympic Park besides the northern end of the stadium? Because I can see them having one inside the stadium and another outside somewhere in the park. I doubt we'll see a tall tower, no signs of a foundation for one at this point.

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