Here is a list of people who have had the honour of lighting the Olympic Torch in previous Summer Olympic Games:
1948 – London – John Mark (Track & Field)
1952 – Helsinki – Paavo Nurmi (Track & Field) & Hannes Kolehmainen (Track and Field)
1956 – Melbourne – Ron Clarke (Track & Field) Continue reading
In past Olympics, the person who lights the cauldron is usually a famous athlete, someone who has won medals in previous Olympics, or someone of significance to the host country.
In the 1964 Tokyo Games the cauldron lighter was Yoshinori Sakai, a man who was born on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
In the 1975 Montreal Games, two teenagers were chosen who represented English and French Canada.
Muhammed Ali, Olympic gold medalist in boxing but now shaking from the effects of Parkinson’s disease, lit the flame in Atlanta in 1996.
The question is, who will light the cauldron in London?
By the time the last group of torch bearers enter the stadium, everyone wonders who will light the flame and how it will be lit. Here are three memorable lightings of the Olympic Cauldron, along with video clips.
#1 – Barcelona 1992 – The Archer
The most amazing lighting of the Olympic torch was by Paralympic athlete Antonio Rebello in Barcelona 1992. Who in the audience did not hold their breath when he launched the lit arrow with his bow towards and into the cauldron?!
You can call me crazy or just say it's nationalistic pride, but when CBC's Olympic Primetime host Ian Hanomansing announced at midnight last Saturday that Canadians were up for three medals, I stayed up… til 2 am!
In the span of 45 minutes, Canadian athletes won three medals on day 8 of the Beijing Games. It was so worth it to see Carol Huynh win not only Canada's first medal of the Games but Canada's first gold medal in women's wrestling. David Calder and Scott Frandsen won silver in pairs rowing and Tonya Verbeek won the bronze in the 55kg of wrestling.
This was just the beginning…
It's hard to make the Olympic team for your country as an able-bodied athlete. Imagine trying to accomplish that same feat but as a physically disabled athlete. Disabled is a misleading word as these athletes portrayed below are very able.
Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee South African, made headlines in his attempts to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in the 400m track event. While this was happening Natalie du Toit qualified for both the Olympic and Paralymic Games in marathon swimming and Natalia Partyka of Poland qualified in team table tennis.