Rio Olympic cauldron lights up the night

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have kicked off in style, with a spectacular opening ceremony at the city’s Maracanã stadium. After months of speculation, the design of the two Olympic cauldrons was revealed, with one ‘public’ cauldron at the Praça Mauá (Plaza Maua) area near Candelária Church (as I wrote in June), and a larger ‘ceremonial’ cauldron in the stadium.

The ‘ceremonial’ cauldron in the Maracanã stadium was lit by Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima. For non-athletics enthusiasts, Cordeiro may be best remembered as the unfortunate runner who was attacked by a crazed spectator as he completed the 2004 event in Athens. Cordeiro stood in for football legend Pele, whose ill health prevented him from taking part.

The simple ball-like cauldron then rose, seemingly by itself, to rest in the centre of a dramatic kinetic sculpture. Designed by artist Anthony Howe, the wind-powered structure twists and spirals to represent a blazing sun.

(Image: Agencia Brasil, Wikimedia Commons)

(Image: Agencia Brasil, Wikimedia Commons)

Meanwhile the ‘public’ cauldron in Plaza Maua follows a similar design, but with a more abstract, colourful, arty makeover. The two cauldrons, but particularly the first one, are designed to reflect our spiralling lives, and raise awareness about the fragility of our natural environment.

The Olympics Games will continue over the next 16 days, culminating in the closing ceremony at the Maracanã stadium on the 21st August.

Did you watch the opening ceremony? What did you think of it? Comment below!

Meet Tim Blight


Writer, traveller, amateur photographer, teacher. Based in Melbourne and Lahore.

6 replies
  1. Anna @ shenANNAgans
    Anna @ shenANNAgans says:

    One of our family friends Gracie Elvin is riding her bicycle in the Olympics, we all can’t seem to watch anything Olympic related without tearing up with pride. Even the thought of just how bloody proud her parents would be to see her wearing the Aussie uniform is enough to set me off. Lol! So yes, I did watch the opening parade, but it was through a whole bunch of tears. It makes it so much cooler actually knowing someone there. 🙂

    Reply
    • Tim Blight
      Tim Blight says:

      Thats awesome!! All the best to her – if I’m able to, I’ll see if I can catch her race online some time. I know the cycling is normally in the first week. Thanks for reading – and yes, I’d be tearing up too <3

      Reply

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