At the Vancouver Olympic Convention Center, Vancouver BC Canada
One of the largest Olympic symbols is not accessible to the public and is creating quite a stir.
Visitors to site of the Olympic Cauldron next to the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) are expressing disappointment that they are unable to get up close to view Vancouver’s Olympic cauldron.
After experiencing a seemingly majestic opening ceremony the flame, at Jack Pool Plaza, that was lit by Wayne Gretzky is behind a chained linked fence and the access to the public is restricted.
‘It’s really a bit of a let down,’ said a local resident. ‘We’ve lived through the buildup of these Games for the past seven years and you would think that the public could get up close to take pictures
and see the flame’ said Pat Chambers a North Vancouver.
The waterfront cauldron is in a fenced in perimeter and police security greet visitors. Signage indicates the cauldron is off limits and trespassers may be prosecuted.
Accredited IBC media have unrestricted access as well as volunteers. Tourists to the area are forced to poke the fence with their camera if they want to get a clear shot of it.
‘It looks like the flame is in jail. It’s kind of hilarious to see after coming all this way,’ says another tourist taking a picture of his wife.
Many are left wondering why Games organizers did not plan to put a screening checkpoint like at other pavilions and sporting venues around the city. VANOC organizers have said that they are trying to find ways to make the Flame more accessible to the public.
It is unclear if the secured perimeter, which places a 40-50 meter distance between admirers and the cauldron, was built because there was a security threat
or recent protests prompted the impromptu fence to go up.
‘Whatever the reason, I hope they manage to find a solution to allow people to see one of the true significant icons of the Games,’ added Chambers.
The Main Media Centre’s downtown Vancouver location is only three kilometres from the Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver and within walking distance to BC Place (Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Victory Ceremonies) and Canada Hockey Place (the main competition venue for ice hockey