Barcelona 1992 · Favorite Olympic Moments · Opening Ceremonies

Favorite Olympic Moments: Barcelona 1992 – The Flame’s Bull’s-eye

The Opening Ceremony’s full of pomp and circumstance, probably the most impressive of which is the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. After a long journey from Greece and around the host nation, the Flame gets transferred to some type of cauldron and is the visible reminder to the whole city that the Olympics are on.

Since the Flame’s one of the biggest Olympic symbols, the lighting of the cauldron’s taken on a pretty big air of mystique–and the person who lights it is generally one of the best-kept secrets of the Opening Ceremonies.

The other big secret (and show) is how the cauldron will be lit. Arguably the best-ever lighting method was in Barcelona 1992. Barcelona’s cauldron was atop the stadium so that the Flame was visible from afar. This isn’t always the case–sometimes the Flame is on display at ground level around the central Olympic area. Personally, although those cauldrons have been pretty cool, I still think there’s something a little more magical about the stadium-topping cauldron that you can see from far away.

Anyway, here’s how Barcelona stunned the world:

Can you imagine how many ways that could’ve gone wrong? And what would’ve happened if it did? But no! It was pretty darned amazing.

Here’s the story behind one of the most difficult ways to light the flame:

Favorite Olympic Moments · Los Angeles 1984 · Olympics

Favorite Olympic Moments: Los Angeles 1984 – The Tie!

Welcome to a new feature we’re calling “Favorite Olympic Moments,” where we reminisce about some of the moments that make the Olympics so exciting and so much fun to watch. These are the moments where athletes faced the pressure of the world stage and defined the Olympic spirit.

Los Angeles 1984.

During the LA games, I was pretty into swimming. I was a decent age-group swimmer, specializing in breaststroke (and later–oddly enough, since I wasn’t great at butterfly–Individual Medley). I also was a solid breaststroke leg on a medley relay. I’d spent a couple of summers going to week-long swim camps–one run by the legendary Doc Counsilman from Indiana University–which improved my swimming a lot (I actually still swim some of the drills I learned there when I swim my own workouts), and solidified my excitement about the sport.

The LA Games happened in the middle of my swimming “career,” so to speak, and it was the first Games that got me hooked on the Olympics. Swimming events are early on in the Games, so I was glued to the TV early and often. For me, the women’s 100-meter freestyle really set the tone for an amazing Games. Take a watch:

Continue reading “Favorite Olympic Moments: Los Angeles 1984 – The Tie!”