Jump to content

London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


Recommended Posts

I heard a lot about this ceremony, but this was the first time I saw it. Wow. Really stunning. Thanks for sharing.

I agree this is stunning! I hope London do something as dramatic as this, although it would certaintly have to have a much more British theme to it. Not sure that theme would quite suit the London games, lol.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At least this is an innovative and cultural related ceremony that didn't end up in a mess by trying to be different. Not a fan though. Just don't like attempts that makes you jitter and worry for the participant, that they are struggling and too contrived. In this case, it's the horse. It's obvious the horse is struggling halfway up the stairs. The same with Beijing, you just feel for the guy and it makes for uneasy viewing like anything can go wrong any minute. Prefer something that you know will be done in a swift, not having to hold my breath whilst the torch bearer carry out his superhuman feat that might gone awry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Qatar, hosts of the 2022 World Cup, also hosted the 2006 Asian Games where this jaw dropping Cauldron was lit in this Doha stunner.

It’s one of my all-time favourites (turn the sound up):

Meh. It would have been better if the horse didn't fumble a bit. But of course, you can't blame a horse for having to make such a ride up. They should have made it less steep I suppose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meh. It would have been better if the horse didn't fumble a bit. But of course, you can't blame a horse for having to make such a ride up. They should have made it less steep I suppose.

It's one of those similar situation with Beijing (with the torch dropping midair) when you thought, geez, what if the horse decided to stop climbing and run down the steps; or the horse gone beserk? Not fun

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With so much creativity, technology, safety equipment and theatrical possibilities, it’s a challenge these days for Cauldron lightings to be different to previous ones and yet be unique and memorable. Do they go for technically complex or for simplicity, or a balance of both?

You can get it bang on with both , just please please please, no more zip wires.

But as I say, you can get it right with the highly technical lighting of Sydney 2000 (I still class it as a success) , on the other hand, you can go for the beautiful and elegant cauldron lighting of Nagnao 98.

It's still one of my favourites. The dignified stature of Midori Ito (wearing traditional robes, also bringing a slight nod to the snow queen from the nagano handover in Lillehammer) rising into the sky as the fans unfurl, and then turning around slightly to light the cauldron, trying to keep it together but tears flowing, as she then gets lowered back down into the stadium, as the fans go back into place.

Amazing amazing .

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think however the cauldron ends up being lit, it should be a 3 piece affair. Commemorating the past 2 Olympics, with a dramatic lead up to the main cauldron.

You have the flame enter the stadium, passed to another torchbearer, who goes to cauldron 1 (which should be revealed when he/she approaches, premature applause follows and mini fireworks), who then goes to torchbearer 2, who goes to cauldron 2 (same effect as cauldron 1, audience should know what to expect), then goes to torchbearer 3, who then does the dramatic leadup to cauldron 3, who waiting to light the cauldron will be the final torchbearer kept secret, reaching out to light the final cauldron in a dramatic way.

All in all 5 final torchbearers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I agree the camera work is brilliant. They must have choreographed and rehearsed the camera angle so it is shot in that particular angle where it looks like it landed in the cauldron. But if you look carefully at the official footage, you can catch a quick glimpse of the arrow trail falling behind the cauldron, would not have noticed otherwise!

#1 - Re Barcelona, the arrow was NEVER meant to land in the cauldron. The arc for that would've been too risky. It was always just meant to fly over the cauldron and just brush the gas jets like when you lit a gas stove. I don't know where people get the idea that it was to have landed smack in the pot. All that was detailed in a certain reference book; can't find it for the moment.

#2 - Nagano's lighting...majestic, yes but too sombre. Also, re the fans...here's where they got the idea...see top of the stairs in the bkgd moment at 0:37 when the fans open and Shirley McLaine pops out...

(Put it in a fresh window)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes sometimes things don't go as smoothly as organisers would have liked. The important thing is that safety of participants, technical crew and the crowds is paramount in these sorts of global events when they rehearse and rehearse and have back-up plans for their backup plans. To take safety lightly and have someone injured in front of a global audience would indeed be traumatic and catastrophic. But to create that gob-smacking illusion, they have to balance what looks very dangerous with a great deal of safety measures to reduce risk.

Even with rehearsals, that’s not to say there have not been technical malfunctions, and very embarrassing ones like the ones discussed on this forum. At Seoul 1988 some doves were apparently barbequed when their Cauldron was lit. Some escaped but it appears from TV footage that some didn't make it out when it suddenly got hot up there.

Yes in some of the Cauldron lightings, we hold our breath sometimes at the shock or surprise of what we see.

  • Barcelona 1992 - the incredible flaming arrow too shot by former elite archer Antonio Rebollo had us drop our jaws in amazement from our lounge room chairs. However, the shooting of that arrow was in safe hands. Thanks Olympian2004 for sharing that amazing footage a few days ago of the arrow landing outside the stadium in what would have been a cleared area.
  • Sydney 2000 - I remember the audience around me (including myself) gasped when 13 year old Nikki Webster suddenly flew up into the air from out of that swirling white fog and started doing mid-air tumbles. From the stadium you couldn’t initially see the safety wires, whereas on tv they can be seen more easily. Also our jaws dropped when that huge flaming Cauldron rose up like suddenly an alien spaceship from under the water around Cathy Freeman's feet when she lit that circle of flame. Then again our eyes popped wide when the Cauldron shuddered as it attempted to rise up the stadium and stalled.
  • Athens 2004 - the massive tv screen in front of the Cauldron tilted downwards at an alarming angle (as it was meant to) right above the heads of the audience below so that the beautiful and elegant Cauldron behind could dip down slowly to enable champion windsurfer Nikolaos Kalamanakis to ignite it
  • Doha 2006 - the horse was an incredibly strong competition animal and together with the Sheik, they’re used to competing together in endurance equestrian competitions. They will both be well used to riding up steep inclines and pathways under pressure like the one they rode upon to get to the top of the stadium. Sometimes competing horses in competitions will struggle with their footing and recover, or not. But the organisers will have not risked a catastrophe if what was being asked of the horse and rider was considered outside their skills and capabilities (what did you think of that Cauldron at the top by the way)?
  • Beijing 2008 - I really liked Beijing’s lighting, the music and the unfolding scroll of torch bearer footage that followed China’s Li Ning, himself a former elite gymnast, as he “ran” around the top of the stadium. Closeups in the TV footage shows that both Li and the torch were independently secured from above with safety wires so if he lost grip of the torch it would have just been hanging on its own.

With so much creativity, technology, safety equipment and theatrical possibilities, it’s a challenge these days for Cauldron lightings to be different to previous ones and yet be unique and memorable. Do they go for technically complex or for simplicity, or a balance of both?

Well summarised Aussiefans. I agree that cauldron lighting has to be a balance of both. To me, Athens is seemingly most simple and elegant, but also very technically complex with the mechanism to move the cauldron needle and giant screen. I thought the timing of the needle bowing was pinned to the perfect second, just as the tip of the needle reached the lowest point, the music reached the finale and he turned around and lit it. It is just the most perfect and most beautiful cauldron ceremony to me.

Sydney's is breathtaking in terms of its surprise element which is very clever, to light a fire from water.

Credits should be given to the design team for Doha's cauldron, how it is easily tucked under and rise effortlessly, then transformed from a 2D flat element into a 3D. Though that kind of ornate style with the rotating orbit design is not really my cup of tea, esp the rotating orbit is a bit cliche (like some table deco stuff you find in knick knack shops).

I have high hopes for London's. Will it take over Athens as my all time fave? I doubt so, because to me Athens is so perfect no other ceremony can ever be better.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then again our eyes popped wide when the Cauldron shuddered as it attempted to rise up the stadium and stalled.

Did you really recognise that as failure already during the ceremony? I as TV viewer didn't notice a thing. Although I noticed that it took very long until the cauldron started to climb up the stand, I didn't recognise that as technical error, especially not since the timing of the music seemed to fit the moment it started to climb very well.

Closeups in the TV footage shows that both Li and the torch were independently secured from above with safety wires so if he lost grip of the torch it would have just been hanging on its own.

That's new to me. And frankly, I can't recognise any wire connected to the torch in the pictures. In fact, Li Ning seemed to have two strong wires connected to his back and a third, rather thin wire connected to his biceps, maybe to relieve his arm from the weight of the torch.

0811_li_ning.jpg

MK-BR172_LINING_G_20111219173454.jpg

Img214518869.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you really recognise that as failure already during the ceremony? I as TV viewer didn't notice a thing. Although I noticed that it took very long until the cauldron started to climb up the stand, I didn't recognise that as technical error, especially not since the timing of the music seemed to fit the moment it started to climb very well.

That's new to me. And frankly, I can't recognise any wire connected to the torch in the pictures. In fact, Li Ning seemed to have two strong wires connected to his back and a third, rather thin wire connected to his biceps, maybe to relieve his arm from the weight of the torch.

MK-BR172_LINING_G_20111219173454.jpg

There is definitely something attached to his right arm. See the sleeve that's extra raised compared to the left sleeve? Maybe it's a prosthetic arm? :lol:

(And his earpiece has its own little battery compartment in his pocket...so it can't be that.) I am sure it was an additional binding so that he did not drop the torch which might've landed on someone after all.

A little birdie's told me how London might be doing it. Should I unveil it here? :o

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is definitely something attached to his right arm. See the sleeve that's extra raised compared to the left sleeve? Maybe it's a prosthetic arm? :lol:

(And his earpiece has its own little battery compartment in his pocket...so it can't be that.) I am sure it was an additional binding so that he did not drop the torch which might've landed on someone after all.

A little birdie's told me how London might be doing it. Should I unveil it here? :o

He is not directly holding the torch in his hand. The torch is put in a specific support, to be auto hold... The support is attached to the wrist (under the wrist band), and there is probably another system on the back of the arm and under the shirt...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When these things are considered - the location of most of the park's venues, the position of the VIP box / broadcast tables inside the stadium, and where the Orbit stands - a cauldron tower on the north end of the stadium just makes so much sense to me.

And if not outside, than at least somewhere on that northern half of the stadium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barcelona's lighting sometimes comes off a bit too much like a circus act with the very dramatic music and the sheer impossibility of it all. It was a stunning lighting, but I feel like the showmanship was a bit heavy handed.

Sydney's, even with it's sheer size and mechanical wizardry, has always been beautiful and stunning to me. The sound of the cascading water coupled with the fantastic choice of music, Freeman's bodysuit giving her a bizarrely appropriate androgynous aura, that absolutely gorgeous shot of her bending over to light the circular flame around her on running water with thousands of cameras flashing in the darkness as the backdrop. That whole sequence feels to me like the Olympic Cauldron lighting benchmark. No nerve-wrecking drama, just an elegant and beautiful set-up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very well analysed. I just rewatched the clip again on YouTube. It still amaze me. The most magical moment was when the cauldron rise up from the water. The shot from a low angle of it going through cathy and water pouring down its rim, just looks like an alien space craft, all very sci-fi looking. And the clever camera angle from behind when the cauldron reached the top of the pool, disguises the mechanical arms that support it with the veil of waterfall makes it look like the cauldron is levitating, another magical shot.

Rewatching now, yes the minutes when it stalled seemed awfully long now. But when watching live, I never noticed something was wrong at all. I reckon its a beautiful mistake that it's somehow quite fitting that the cauldron starts moving again when the music finishes.

Why would John Stanton announce cathys name so early on the first time? Is it auto-play?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't consider youth olympic as part of the main games movement. If to include, I would say the paralympics rather than the youth olympics.

One question, did people notice the rail track on the spectator seating before the opening ceremony and hence suspicious it might have something to do with the cauldron ceremony?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha, well cauldron geeks is what we are i guess, i love it.

Nice reel of cauldron lightings too Shrek, thanks for posting that. There is only one missing and that was the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore which was a few months after Vancouver, but maybe the reel was made before Singapore.

I made this video, glad you like it! I just wanted it to be the summer and winter main olympics as these are the most famous ones in my eyes. Plus I struggled to find some of these ones never mind including all the youth games or paralympics. But if anyone fancies making a video of these I'd appreciate it ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...