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The planned synchronisation with music of the cauldron's upward journey went out the window once the cauldron stalled at the start of phase 2 being it's journey up the stadium track.

"Te Deum", as majestic as it was (I loved the music), actually finished just after the Cauldron re-commenced it's journey and it was barely one-eighth up the stadium tracks.

Once the "Te Deum" music finished, there was a slight pause and then the fireworks symphony began, which should have been when the Cauldron was already at the top of the grandstand.

The actual fireworks began just before the delayed Cauldron reached the top of the track. But then the fireworks symphony then also finished while the Cauldron was sitting still on top of the silver pedestal for a minute or two and before it was raised.

The PA announcements pronouncing the end of the Opening Ceremony in French, then English, were done but the Cauldron was still rising on the silver pedestal. TV footage clearly shows this but the slow upward movement on it's silver pedestal may not have been as noticeable by the stadium audience, unless someone had binoculars.

A final illustration of how far out of sync the Sydney Cauldron now was with the planned sequence was that it was still rising in musical silence on the silver pedestal after the end of these announcements, with fireworks still exploding in the background and final cheers from the audience.

Its an interesting observation you have about the ending where the cauldron mast lifting the saucer, is as you say far behind sync. No doubt what you are saying is very likely correct and I have no knowledge to dispute it, ironically I think the moment after the music finishes as the cauldron continues to rise over the stadium as the music fades out along with announcement of the concluding ceremony stands as on of my (bias) most enduring favourite moments of any olympic ceremony. (Similar to the athens shot of the cauldron rising above the stadium at the end of that ceremony - which for some reason NBC did not think was worthy of their edit).

I often wonder and have wanted to recut the sydney lighting sequence with the correct "Te Deum" music, but I have a feeling that the 2nd stage of travel up the stand was accelerated/faster on the real night than planned.

Universal, can you confirm/deny this?

Ultimately I think the finish with announcers could not be more perfect, even though I concede when you think about it logically, the music may have simply ran out. Perhaps it was ric birch's experience and creative sensibility that made make this call on the fly, but either way it was an epic save.

I also recall someone close to the ceremony explaining there was some concern at the overall gas left in the cauldron saucer was eating into the contigency reserve after becoming stuck, which may have been a reason for an accelerated ascent.

Not sure if anyone knows any more on this.

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I agree. When it comes down to it, it's all about what's going to look good on television when the networks break to commercial or show aerial shots of the Olympic Park. London failed in this regard,

Putin's giant orbital death laser battle station platforms which he's set to announce to the world tonight.

Compared to London's minute and very elusive cauldron, At least Sochi's is fit for purpose and visible to public.

SOCHI

worst of the best

SYDNEY

rise [dripping) to heaven.....experience jerks along the way.


vancouver

ICEY GIANT WONT REVEAL EVERYTHING


Yeah, but given the choice is between a man who's most famous for being eaten by another human being, and one of the most stunning women in the world, I don't think it matters. Sochi wins this one ;)

both points invite skepticism


^_^

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I often wonder and have wanted to recut the sydney lighting sequence with the correct "Te Deum" music, but I have a feeling that the 2nd stage of travel up the stand was accelerated/faster on the real night than planned.

Universal, can you confirm/deny this?

Ultimately I think the finish with announcers could not be more perfect, even though I concede when you think about it logically, the music may hav simply ran out. Perhaps it was ric birch's experience and creative sensibility that made make this call on the fly, but either way it was an epic save.

I also recall someone close to the ceremony explaining there was some concern at the overall gas left in the cauldron saucer was eating into the contigency reserve after becoming stuck, which may have been a reason for an accelerated ascent.

Not sure if anyone knows any more on this.

Rich Birch said in an ABC Australia radio interview about a week or so after the OC that the temporary gas bottles within Sydney's cauldron had 35 minutes of gas in them. I recall him saying that, even with the stall, the cauldron was at the top of its pedestal from it's base starting point in 6 to 7 minutes. They had planned for unforeseen stoppages of the Cauldron along its way with this portable gas supply as there was still plenty in reserve so no need to accelerate it.

I'll try and find the link & post it. I have not seen or read anything anywhere in the last 12 years about the Cauldron being 'accelerated' and I doubt that they would try such a risky move to, even if it were technically possible, to speed up that giant flaming cauldron due to the risks so close to the stadium audience either side of the tracks.

I agree it was a good save overall and a happy ending to a great Opening Ceremony.

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Fair enough, I still wish they never separated the mast from the saucer when they made the cauldron fountain, but I guess there was alot of temporary gas hardware to remove and that main burner, while having that elegant tall frame would be alot less efficient to relight on occasional events.

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Fair enough, I still wish they never separated the mast from the saucer when they made the cauldron fountain, but I guess there was alot of temporary gas hardware to remove and that main burner, while having that elegant tall frame would be alot less efficient to relight on occasional events.

I agree, a crying shame they beheaded the Cauldron from the pedestal after the Games.

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Fair enough, I still wish they never separated the mast from the saucer when they made the cauldron fountain, but I guess there was alot of temporary gas hardware to remove and that main burner, while having that elegant tall frame would be alot less efficient to relight on occasional events.

I agree, a crying shame they beheaded the Cauldron from the pedestal after the Games.

Yep!

While the cauldron fountain at Sydney Olympic Park is beautiful, it only harks back to those few minutes of when the 'disk' itself rose out of the water with the cascading waterfall around it --- the fountain is supposed to allude to that moment only. I'm not sure that as a fountain it could have worked with the pedestal. Not sure there was a lot they could do either, the cauldron couldn't remain on the stadium because (similar to Atlanta) the part of the stadium that the cauldron was connected to was demolished when the stadium was reconfigured in 2002.

I do wonder what has happened to the other half of the cauldron - I've heard rumours it is 'lost', which is pretty pathetic given that these Olympics were only 14 years ago.

freeman-torch.jpg

As you can see, the cauldron that sat on its pedestal during the 2000 Olympics looks very different to the form the cauldron takes today, in fountain.

Olympic_Flame_2000_(Summer_Olympics).JPE

Sydney_olympic_prk.jpg

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I appreciate the photos showing the comparisons with the Montreal Big O and inclined tower, Jean Drapeau had a vision for his city and he desperately wanted a tower, When plans did not materialize for a tower at Expo 67 he aimed for a tower at the 1976 Olympics. Sadly, he got his tower but not until a dozen years after the games.

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Drapeau was a megalomaniac, that's for sure. His grandiose vision for Montreal lacked substance and relevance, and meanwhile the city lost its grip and importance to Toronto - great leadership. It is slightly comparable to Melbourne and 1956 -- it was only afew years later that Sydney began to overtake the city and by the 80s, Melbourne was well and truly second city (although ironically post 2000 there are signs of Melbourne re-emerging the Australian boomtown)

Expo 67 made sense for Montreal, but retrospectively the 1976 Games should have been in Toronto - complete with a new (and very tall) tower.

Anyway back on topic:

Was Montreal's cauldron ever envisioned to be on the top of the curved tower?

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No it was not. And you are correct. Montreal lost is preeminence to Toronto but not because of an overly expensive games. It lost it to the efforts of the Parti Quebecois' continuing demands for secession from Canada, Tens of thousands of Anglophones fled Montreal, businesses relocated (Sun Life moved nearly 20 thousand workers to Toronto and left their headquarters in Montreal empty), Canadians put their savings into US banks and Montreal was damaged beyond measure. Drapeau built the Metro, Expo (which put Montreal on the world stage with one of the most successful expositions of all time) and then tried to host the Olympics. That botched event with its incomplete stadium and African boycott is not what damaged that beautiful city. It was the violence by Quebec militants in 1970 and the tactics of the Parti Quebecois for the next twenty years that caused so many difficulties.

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Was Montreal's cauldron ever envisioned to be on the top of the curved tower?

I don't think so. The over-the-top. oneupsmanship lighting scenarios started immediately after that, with Lake Placid 1980, the first Olympic cauldron with full movement. And then the mindset reached its peak with Beijing and Vancouver. Started to return to sanity with London and Sochi. I fear Rio and PC will attempt some death-defying stunts. I think the IOC may have cautioned Sochi to just make it simple and skip an overly elaborate scenario.

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Hi All,

A bit unrelated to the upcoming closing ceremony but relevant to the conversation a few pages ago about the sydney 'glitch'. I have recut the Sydney lighting without the glitch as an attempt to understand the how it may have looked. There are two versions, but both show the 'be careful what you wish for' mantra, it may not work perfectly after all. Anyway interesting all the same. I hope you all enjoy the last hours of sochi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fexvnluyNuU

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As a note i think the timing is not perfect as I think the fireworks were meant to finished after the cauldron was in it's final position. I Which would give footage at the finale of the music ie first music finale the cauldron finishes rising second finale is end of fireworks above it. (Redux 2 doesnt really work as the cutting has to be heavily edited to get the timing righ.t)

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I don't think so. The over-the-top. oneupsmanship lighting scenarios started immediately after that, with Lake Placid 1980, the first Olympic cauldron with full movement. And then the mindset reached its peak with Beijing and Vancouver. Started to return to sanity with London and Sochi. I fear Rio and PC will attempt some death-defying stunts. I think the IOC may have cautioned Sochi to just make it simple and skip an overly elaborate scenario.

Wow, London? Theirs is arguably the most ambitious cauldron with hundreds of moveable parts and oh so many possibilities of hiccups, don't you agree? Sochi was so simple it looks as if they don't even tried... Rio may have technical issues to install a complex cauldron in that stadium. The PanAms envisioned a cauldron tower with the sun on top of it but costs and MaracanĂ£ Stadium a change of plans.

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Wow, London? Theirs is arguably the most ambitious cauldron with hundreds of moveable parts and oh so many possibilities of hiccups, don't you agree? Sochi was so simple it looks as if they don't even tried...

There are even more possibilities of hiccups in an airliner, but it's still the safest way to travel. If you build and maintain machinery correctly, it works reliably.

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Wow, London? Theirs is arguably the most ambitious cauldron with hundreds of moveable parts and oh so many possibilities of hiccups, don't you agree?

Yeah, but it wasn't larger than life. And it was only one sort of mechanism replicated 204 times -- reparable from the ground w/o having to go on a cherry-picker to repair if anything went wrong.

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Hi All,

A bit unrelated to the upcoming closing ceremony but relevant to the conversation a few pages ago about the sydney 'glitch'. I have recut the Sydney lighting without the glitch as an attempt to understand the how it may have looked. There are two versions, but both show the 'be careful what you wish for' mantra, it may not work perfectly after all. Anyway interesting all the same. I hope you all enjoy the last hours of sochi.

Thanks Juso, I liked your recut and the resulting timings of the cauldron's ascent.

I suspect that on the night the fireworks were given an early launch order, ie the fireworks began launching before the delayed cauldron had reached the top of the stadium tracks. I wonder if there is a technical/theatrical schedule of the cauldron's ascent that someone who actually worked behind the scenes may have posted somewhere since 2000 (?).

It would be very interesting to hear more about the behind the scenes story from the technicians and directors involved on the night, and hear or read exactly how the planned technical schedule was amended 'on-the-run'. I've heard interviews with Ric Birch, David Atkins but not seen or heard any interviews with other players.

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Even without that edit (which is fantastic) I'm going to go out on a limb and say ( and I know many will disagree) that only Sydney and Athens so far this century have really managed to strike that balance between the big and bold cauldron lighting, and emotion. London had a great deal of the former, but it was very intimate and smaller scale compared to Athens and Sydney. Nothing else (including Sochi) since 2000 have really hit that spot well, combining them all. (IMO, obviously)

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I do think London's lighting was pretty superb, but they lost major points for what happened to the cauldron afterwards. Athens is probably my favourite of recent games, and Salt Lake City of the Winter Games - that was a fairly simple mechanism but it was very effective, especially as the torch clearly did light the cauldron.

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Even without that edit (which is fantastic) I'm going to go out on a limb and say ( and I know many will disagree) that only Sydney and Athens so far this century have really managed to strike that balance between the big and bold cauldron lighting, and emotion. London had a great deal of the former, but it was very intimate and smaller scale compared to Athens and Sydney. Nothing else (including Sochi) since 2000 have really hit that spot well, combining them all. (IMO, obviously)

As I've stated previously, I think that "big" is now a problem. It's one thing to have a huge great flame burning in Russia, a short distance from one of their gas-fields, but it doesn't exactly send a message of environmental friendliness.

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