Olympic cauldron re-lit after relocation

The Olympic cauldron needed to be reignited when it was moved to its permanent resting place in the stadium after the opening ceremony.


Following International Olympic Committee regulations – that the cauldron must be inside the stadium – the flame was taken out at 9pm on Sunday evening and placed into a miners’ lamp.

Work to move the 204 copper pots and steel pipes, which make up the cauldron, to the south end of the stadium took 80 hours and was completed in time for the athletics to start on August 3.

However, there is criticism of the cauldron’s position – with many suggesting that those who don’t have tickets for the stadium are missing out.

But images of the cauldron will be placed on big screens around the park in order to recreate what spectators are seeing.

“We felt that sharing it with the screens reinforced the intimacy within it,” said Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the 2012 cauldron.

“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.

“There is the precedent of the 1948 Games of the cauldron set within the stadium, to one side with the spectators.

“With the technology we now have that didn't exist in 1948 it can be shared with everyone in the Olympic Park with screens.”

In a small ceremony, the flame was transferred from the miners’ lamp to the cauldron by original 1948 torchbearer Austin Playfoot, a former athletics coach.

He also lit the cauldron in Guildford this month and was delighted to be part of this ceremony.

"It was an honour to be asked to perform this important task of relighting the Cauldron in its resting position," he said.

“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.”

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