The Olympic Flame, which has been seen by nearly 15 million people on its 70 day journey around the UK, and by a worldwide TV audience of around one billion people in the Opening Ceremony, was taken from the Cauldron at 21.00 on 29 July and placed in a special miners lantern overnight before work began to move Thomas Heatherwick’s spectacular structure from its ceremony position in the centre of the field of play.
The Cauldron, made up of 204 steel pipes and individually designed copper petals inscribed with the competing nation’s names, was then relocated at the south end of the Olympic Stadium within eyesight of competing athletes, as an echo of the cauldron location at Wembley for the London 1948 Games.
At 07.50 on 30 July, during an ongoing 80 hour transition of the Stadium from Danny Boyle’s spectacular set for the Opening Ceremony to an Olympic sporting area for athletes from around the world, the Cauldron was relit.
In a small ceremony the Olympic Flame was transferred from the miners lamp to the London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer Austin Playfoot who then lit the Olympic Cauldron using a London 2012 Olympic Torch.
Austin was invited by LOCOG following his role as a 1948 London Olympic Games Torchbearer when he carried the Olympic Flame from the Horse & Groom pub in Merrow to the Municipal Offices in Guildford on 29 July 1948. He was then nominated as a London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer by Guildford & Godalmining Athletic Club where he has spent 40 years as an athletics track judge, and on the 20 July 2012 he lit the Cauldron at the Torch Relay Evening Celebration event in Stoke Park, Guildford.
Live footage of the Cauldron will be available continuously to the world’s rights holding broadcasters and during the first week of the Games will be projected on the stadium's big rooftop screens.
At the end of the Games, each team will take their petal home and the London 2012 Cauldron will cease to exist – it is a representation of the extraordinary transitory community that is the coming together of the world’s community at the London Olympic Games.
Austin Playfoot, London 1948 and London 2012 Olympic Torchbeaer said: ‘It was an honour to be asked to perform this important task of relighting the Cauldron in its resting position. When I ran with the Olympic Flame in Guildford I never thought I would get this close to the Cauldron, it brought me to tears when it lit up. It will be an incredible inspiration to the competing athletes here at the heart of the Olympic Park in the Stadium.’
Thomas Heatherwick, the designer of the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron, said: ‘There is the precedent of the 1948 Games of the cauldron set within the stadium, to one side with the spectators, and with the technology we now have that didn't exist in 1948 it can be shared with everyone in the Olympic Park with screens. We felt that sharing it with the screens reinforced the intimacy within it, if it had been a huge beacon lifted up in the air it would have had to be bigger, and would have somehow not met the brief that we discussed with Danny Boyle of making something that was rooted in where the people are.’
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Notes to editors:
London 2012 Olympic Cauldron stats and facts:
Material: Stainless Steel
Material: Copper with acid etching for country names
Total Weight: 16tonnes
Width: 5.5m (stems up)
Length: 6.2m (stems up)
Photos and Filming
• Photos are availale from accredited photo agencies
• Filming will be available from the London 2012 Footage Library on the London 2012 website from approximately 11.00am
For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at www.london2012.com.
The Official London 2012 Join In app is a free mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience. From the Olympic Torch Relay to the Olympics and Paralympics, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, plus all the cultural, city and community celebrations happening across the UK, the Official London 2012 Join In App is your essential companion. It is available now at app stores and at http://www.london2012.com/mobileapps/
London 2012 Games partners:
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.
LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Supplier, Otto Bock. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.