Lisa O'Leary London 2012 Olympic Cauldron Fueled By Natural Gas

The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games had a lot to live up to after the magnificent masterpiece put on by Beijing four years ago. Television show hosts, journalists, athletes, and fans wondered how the opening ceremony mastermind, Danny Boyle, would top such showmanship.

The reviews of Boyle’s dramatic display were all across the board, ranging from spectacular to creepy. But one thing really stood out above it all, no matter what your opinion might have been. The iconic Olympic cauldron had drastically changed – and not just on the outside, but on the inside too.

The Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo Credit: Mike Blake, REUTERS

Each of the towering cauldron’s 204 petals, representing the 204 nations coming together, is lit with clean natural gas. London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick was instructed by London’s Organizing Committee to construct the cauldron to be as “green” as possible – and that he did. Near the end of the opening ceremony, the Olympic athletes lit the world’s first low carbon cauldron.

Overnight, the gas flow of the multiple burners is reduced significantly from 100 percent down to 15 percent. The 16 ton copper cauldron is much lighter in comparison to Beijing’s 300 ton cauldron, and will be recycled after the closing ceremony. Each competing nation will be given one of the petals to take as a lasting memory of the games.

Lisa O'Leary

About Lisa O'Leary

Lisa O'Leary is the Manager of Digital Communications for the American Gas Association. Prior to joining AGA, Lisa served as Manager of Multimedia Communications for the Senator John Heinz History Center, "the Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh," and as a Web Producer at WPXI-TV, Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh, PA. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
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