Thousands upon thousands came to see the majestic Cauldron lit during the 2010 Winter Games. With the Games complete, the Cauldron remains as a permanent landmark on the Jack Poole Plaza. This was definitely something on the top of our list to see. I was hoping it would be lit with fire, but apparently they only lit with fire for certain reasons, and on certain days, like Canada Day. However, it is lit with lights every night and they change the colors depending on the season or again for special occasions.
The Cauldron was provided by FortisBC through a legacy investment and partnership with the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committees. The form of the Vancouver cauldrons is that of a pyramid. Pyramid structures are formed when, from a square base, each side rises to meet at a central point. At 32.8 ft (10 m) tall and set against a beautiful mountain and harbour backdrop, the Cauldron continues to attract visitors and locals alike. More importantly, it’s a reminder of the city’s extraordinary Olympic experience and demonstrated ability to host large, complex, international events.
One of the highlights of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics is the lightening of the cauldron which is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was introduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since. Today the torch is ignited several months before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Eleven women, representing the Vestal Virgins, perform a celebration at the Temple of Hera in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror. The torch briefly travels around Greece via short relay, and then starts its transfer to the host city after a ceremony in the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens.
The Olympic Torch Relay ends on the day of the opening ceremony in the central stadium of the Games. The final carrier is often kept unannounced until the last moment, and is usually a sports celebrity of the host country. The final bearer of the torch runs towards the cauldron, often placed at the top of a grand staircase, and then uses the torch to start the flame in the arena. It is considered to be a great honor to be asked to light the Olympic flame. After being lit, the flame continues to burn throughout the Games, until the day of the closing ceremony and celebration, when it is finally put out, symbolizing the official end of the Games.
I have enjoyed watching the cauldrons being lit during the Opening Ceremonies in the past, and was very excited to be able to see the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron in person and take some pictures.We even met a nice couple from the area that were there with some out of town guest who wanted to see the cauldron as well. It was nice to spend a few minutes talking to locals who shared some of the crazy stories from 2010. The cauldron is also right next to the convention center and right on the water. It was an amazing area and I was thrilled to be able to experience a piece of Olympic history.
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