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Olympic Torch Lighting 2012: How London Botched the Lighting of the Cauldron

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  The Olympic Cauldron is lit by young Britain athletes during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJuly 28, 2012

When the Olympic torch finally made its way to the stadium via speed boat driven by David Beckham, it was thought eventually the torch would be handed to a big named star in order to light the Cauldron signifying the start of the games.

But that wasn't to be, and instead, it was a group of young athletes aged 16 to 19 who ended up lighting the Cauldron. Not exactly what we were all expecting.

Now, before anyone jumps on me and thinks I hate children, I will say that I certainly don't blame the young adults for this move. Clearly they didn't make the decision themselves and no matter what, they definitely made lemonade with lemons.

It's just that we were all expecting more. I mean, just look at some of the past names that have held the same distinction.

In the 2010 Olympics, NHL great Wayne Gretzky had the honor of lighting the Cauldron in Vancouver. Boxing great Muhammad Ali had the same honor for the 1996 Games in Atlanta and a slew of past Olympians have also done it.

As you can see, a big name specific to the country hosting the Games has almost always lit the Cauldron and for the life of me and the rest of the Olympic watching world, I can't figure out why London decided to do things differently.

Especially after all the speculation and anticipation of who it could possibly be.

Maybe the organizers of the Games felt that bit of information would be leaked much like a lot of the opening ceremony information was. So instead of falling victim to that, the organizers could have very well went in a totally different, unpredictable direction to throw off the rest of the world and keep at least one of their plans a secret.

In the end, it was a huge let down in what otherwise was a very solid opening ceremony. The young athletes involved did do a great job, but it was the organizers of the event who failed us all.

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