LONDON – Disappointed fans criticized London 2012 organizers on Sunday, accusing them of staging a “disappearing act” with the Olympic flame.
The cauldron was lit amid dramatic scenes at the Opening Ceremony on Friday but cannot be seen by anyone outside the Olympic stadium because of its positioning within the venue.
“They have done a disappearing act with it,” said Londoner Colin Millard, 58. “We can’t wait to see some events, and it doesn’t spoil your day, but of course you would like to think it is all part of the experience. You come to the Games, you get a photo with the flame.”
Others were similarly bemused at the fact that apart from TV viewers, the only people who will able to see the flame are those fortunate enough to hold tickets for the track and field competition.
“It was like, now you see it, now you don’t,” said Linda Samuel, of Essex, just outside London. “I loved the Ceremony, and the flame was a dramatic moment. But now it’s like it’s not here.” At the end of the Games, the prongs will be dismantled and each one presented to the nation it represents.
London’s Olympic budget was cut because of the economic downturn but it’s not known whether that contributed to the decision on how to place the flame.
Down- Sized Olympic flame illuminates downturn in English economy..