Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza will be relit this Friday evening to celebrate Canadian athletes and the start of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Over 450 athletes, including many British Columbians, will be competing at the Games held from August 5 to 21. Analysts expect Canada could land on as many as 19 medals at these Games, slightly up from the actual count of 18 medals – including one gold – four years ago in London.
“First lit for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games more than six years ago, the Olympic Cauldron holds significant meaning to British Columbians,” said Peter Fassbender, the BC Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development, in a statement.
“Since that time, our province has continued to provide training and support services for future Olympians and we’re very proud of the many athletes from British Columbia representing Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.”
The 10-metre tall, five-burner symbol of the Olympic movement, and one of the major lasting landmarks of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, was first lit by Wayne Gretzky six years ago moments after the Opening Ceremony at BC Place.
During the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, after a public outcry, the Cauldron was relit nightly whenever Canada secured a gold medal.
The Cauldron will also be relit on Wednesday, September 7 to honour Canadian Paralympians competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. A time will be announced at a later date.
There are plans to rekindle at least one other Olympic Cauldron in Canada during the Rio 2016 period. A spokesperson for Montreal Olympic Park told Daily Hive that the Olympic Cauldron from the 1976 Olympics will be lit throughout the entire Rio 2016 Games. However, there are no plans to relight the Cauldrons at Calgary Olympic Park and Whistler Olympic Plaza.
The Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016 begins at 4 pm PST on Friday, August 5. It is expected to last four hours.
When: 6:45 to 9 pm on Friday, August 5, 2016
Where: Jack Poole Plaza at the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place, Vancouver)