Officials have finally revealed that the Olympic Cauldron, one of the spectacular highlights of Friday’s opening ceremony, was constructed under top-secret conditions at a business near York.
Composed of 204 copper petals (one for each of the participating Games’ countries), the cauldron astounded a worldwide TV audience of one billion with its refinement and emotional poignancy. As each nation entered the stadium during the athletes’ parade, they were accompanied by a child carrying one of the petals each engraved with the country’s name.
The petals were then attached to stainless steel rods, before being lit by seven young athletes, the next generation of sporting stars selected by current champions. In a dramatic climax, the petals were then raised slowly into the air to merge into one roaring flame.
Construction of the sixteen-ton iconic cauldron was undertaken by the staff at Stage One in Tockwith, a task requiring MI5-worthy secrecy; workers were forbidden from sharing information on the project even with their families. The cauldron was even given its own alias “Betty”, allegedly after a dog of designer Thomas Heatherwick, while the base was referred to as ‘Frank’.
It was not the first time Stage One had been charged with constructing an Olympic Project, having previously contributed to the Athens Olympic opening ceremony and the Winter Olympics in Canada. Even the current Games have been graced with more than one of the company’s creations, as the Olympic Rings currently suspended on London’s Tower Bridge had their genesis in the Stage One studio.
Director of the firm, Jim Tinsley, and Managing Director Mark Johnson were honoured to attend the ceremony in London where the lighting of the flame was met with riotous applause.