Olympic flame will remain on Vancouver waterfront long after the Games are over
Vanoc and Terasen Gas, along with Premier Gordon Campbell and Mayor Gregor Robertson, have decided that the 10-metre Olympic cauldron will remain in perpetuity by the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Retired hockey star Wayne Gretzky lit the cauldron in the plaza, named after former Vanoc chair Jack Poole, after being transported there from B.C. Place on a flatbed truck escorted by police.
Terasen and Vanoc made the announcement in a news release (see below) issued shortly after the flame was lit.
"We deeply appreciate Terasen's legacy to the people of Vancouver," Robertson said in the news release. "This cauldron and its flame will draw people not only during February and March 2010 but in the years to come as a potent symbol of our time in the limelight as the successful host of the world's best winter athletes."
Vancouver 2010 cauldron to stand as permanent legacy of Games in downtown Vancouver - Terasen Gas Inc. provides iconic symbol located at Jack Poole Plaza
VANCOUVER, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - In a celebration of the 2010 Winter Games, the Olympic and Paralympic Cauldron will become a permanent landmark on the Vancouver waterfront through a legacy partnership announced tonight between Terasen Gas Inc. and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
This legacy will ensure the cauldron, lit tonight by Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky at the conclusion of the spectacular Olympic Opening Ceremony at BC Place, will be a lasting reminder of the Games.
Gretzky, the all-time record holder for goals scored in the National Hockey League (NHL) and executive director of the Team Canada gold medal-winning men's hockey team at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Games, ignited the almost 10-metre-high steel and glass cauldron after a flatbed truck transported him and the Olympic Flame through the streets of downtown Vancouver to the waterfront location.
"The cauldron and the flame ignite the spirit of the 2010 Winter Games and will be a source of inspiration to people in B.C. and around the world. Terasen Gas is pleased to partner with VANOC and this cauldron is a very fitting way for us to contribute to the Games and provide a legacy for British Columbians and all visitors to our province for years to come," said Randy Jespersen, Terasen Gas Inc.'s president and CEO.
The cauldron, which VANOC designed and fabricated, is located on the west side of the International Broadcast Centre at Jack Poole Plaza at 1055 Canada Place. The plaza will be officially dedicated at a later date in memory of Poole; the founding chairman of VANOC's board of directors. Poole passed away in October 2009 just hours after the Olympic Flame was lit in Greece signalling the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.
"This is a special night for all British Columbians, for Canadians and for Olympic fans around the world. Terasen's contribution means the spark of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will forever burn in people's memories whenever they visit this incredible location," said the Honourable Gordon Campbell, premier of British Columbia.
"This is particularly special because now one of the most photographed and visible icons of the Games will be forever located here in Jack Poole Plaza. This place is named in honour of a great friend and visionary who was instrumental in bringing the Olympic Spirit to our province and back to Canada for a third time."
The cauldron will be shown throughout the world during broadcasts of the Games and will showcase the scenic backdrop of majestic snow-capped North Shore Mountains and the waters of Burrard Inlet. It will also be used for the Paralympic Winter Games, which officially open a month later on March 12, 2010.
"Four outstanding Canadian athletes lit the iconic ceremonial cauldron in BC Place tonight and on their behalf Wayne Gretzky has now carried the Olympic Flame to the end of its incredible journey across our great land. This flame and these four athletes have touched millions of Canadians and we hope this moment will inspire the world's athletes in the pursuit of their dreams," said John Furlong, VANOC's CEO. "They have travelled this journey with us since we won the bid in 2003 and it is only fitting that they are here tonight and that the cauldron lit by Wayne Gretzky will serve as a lasting legacy of the Games in the city."
Gregor Robertson, mayor of the City of Vancouver, also acknowledged the importance of this legacy to the Host City of the Games. "We deeply appreciate Terasen's legacy to the people of Vancouver. This cauldron and its flame will draw people not only during February and March 2010 but in the years to come as a potent symbol of our time in the limelight as the successful host of the world's best winter athletes."
Under its agreement with VANOC, Terasen Gas Inc. has a right to market and promote their association with the 2010 Winter Games, as well as with the Canadian Olympic Teams competing at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the London 2012 Olympic Games. In return, Terasen Gas Inc. made a financial investment in the Games by funding the cost of the cauldron.