Friday, 19 September 2014
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Thomas Heatherwick’s London 2012 Olympic cauldron is lit

Thomas Heatherwick’s London 2012 Olympic cauldron has been lit as the Games get under way.

The cauldron was lit on 27 July at the end of the end of the Olympics opening ceremony, which was directed by Danny Boyle.

It was lit by seven young athletes, each selected by an Olympic Ambassador, after the Olympic torch had been carried into the stadium by five-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave. You can see the cauldron being lit here www.bbc.co.uk.

The design of the cauldron had been one of the most closely-guarded secrets of the opening ceremony.

When the competing delegations arrived in London, they each received a copper petal, inscribed with the name of their country and the words ‘XXX Olympiad London 2012’.

The carried these petals into the stadium during the opening ceremony before laying them down on the cauldron.

Cauldron

Source: Nick J Webb

When all the petals had been laid down, the seven torchbearers each ignited a single tiny flame within one of the copper petals on the ground, triggering the ignition of all 204 petals.

Cauldron

Source: Nick J Webb

The Cauldron’s long, stainless-steel stems then rose towards each other and converged to form one single flame.

The 16 tonne, 8.5m-high cauldron has now been moved to the south end of the Olympic Stadium, from its ceremony position in the centre of the field of play.

The flame was placed in a special miner’s lamp overnight as the cauldron was moved.

At the end of the Games, each team will take their petal home and the London 2012 Cauldron will cease to exist.

Readers' comments (11)

  • I don't write to strangers or programmes and am not on a social website BUT I HAD to congratulate Thomas Heatherwick on his S T U N N I N G cauldron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • The hilight for me - amazing piece of sculpture.

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  • D&AD Gold in the bag. A glorious, miraculous thing.

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  • If this does not receive a D&AD Gold there is no justice. Totally, utterly – and, dare I use this overworked adjective? – AWESOME!

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  • Magnificent in both it's concept and execution.

    Bravo, Mr. Heatherwick!

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  • Lump in my throat moment!

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  • beautiful and a great idea, but I think its a total miss that the flame is not visible unless you go and get a ticket for the athletics arena...

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  • Simply stunning!

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  • stunning work and a beautiful concept with the nominated torch bearers.

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  • The Olympic Cauldron. Fabulous concept, amazing use of materials; design at its very best. Congratulations Thomas Hetherwick!

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