For such an important symbol of the games it’s somewhat incredible that it’s the one thing Vancouver managed to mess up in an otherwise well run games (notwithstanding the unseasonably warm and sunny weather that led to a lack of snow on the mountains).
Breaking with tradition, there were actually two cauldrons at the Vancouver Olympics. Owing to BC place being an indoor stadium (at the time, it now has a brand new retractable roof) it was not possible to leave the cauldron burning in the stadium during the games (where no one would see it anyway). Thus a “prop” cauldron was used in the opening ceremonies. You may recall it suffered a mechanical failure when one “leg” failed to rise. A comic routine was added to the closing ceremonies that poked fun at that incident.
Meanwhile the “real” and permanent cauldron was placed in nearby Coal Harbour, behind a giant chain link fence that made it impossible for anyone to get anywhere near it, nor take a good photo. After a couple of days and loads of negative attention from the media, the barricade was moved a great deal closer and parts of the fence were cut down allowing for much better viewing.
Even so, the placement of the cauldron, while attractive to look upon with the naked eye makes it very difficult to get a good photograph without distracting elements taking over the shot. Even today with the barricades long gone.
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