The Cauldron

by Carmen Cruz

So there's been controversy over the Olympic Cauldron in Coal Harbour.

I FINALLY went and checked it out with Laurie Logan the other night. It's an amazing thing to see, no doubt about that. But the fence? Seriously? When Laurie and I tried to take a picture of ourselves in front of didn't really work. I can understand that Olympic officials and police want to avoid vandalism and all that jazz, but that fence is kind of a slap in the face to ALL of us (in my humble opinion).

"The Olympic cauldron is a powerful symbol and the desire to get as close to it as possible has been remarkable — more than we expected," VANOC CEO John Furlong said in a statement back in February. SH*T!!!

So if you didn't know, VANOC officials got tired of hearing us all complain and they developed a new layout (a while back, during the Olympics actually. The surprising thing is that a lot of us here in Vancouver STILL didn't know about it!). The new layout provides access to an elevated viewing platform just to the west of the cauldron that allows unobstructed views of the flame, located at the International Media Centre in downtown Vancouver.

The viewing deck, which fits up to 150 cauldron lovers at a time and it'll be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is accessible by stairs or elevator.

Apparently the cauldron is supposed to be a permanent installation. Even though we can't get close to it during the Games, it's supposed to stay where it is forever and ever.

The flames have been re-lit for the Paralympics and honestly? You've gotta go see it. According to "officials" the cauldron will be extinguished at the end of the Games and MIGHT be re-lit for other special occasions. Here's hoping.

Either way, grab yourselves some hot chocolate and some friends/loved ones and go check it out at night.