Vancouver’s iconic Olympic cauldron is being re-lit Wednesday, to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games.
The cauldron’s initial lighting in 2010 was a thrilling moment for many Canadians, as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky sparked the flame that would burn for 17 days.
On Wednesday, a ceremony at Jack Poole Plaza aimed to recapture some of that magic.
Athletes including freestyle skier Jennifer Heil and Mercedes Nicoll will be present for the event, which will also include the singing of the national anthem.
Heil, a three-time Olympian, broke the ice for Canada at the 2010 games, bringing home the country’s first medal — a silver in moguls.
“Certainly the pressure was very deep. I mean, it was two years, I could hardly digest my food, it was that intense, but that’s my job, to manage the pressure, that’s why we sign up for this,” Heil told Global News.
Heil says looking back, the 2010 Games were a watershed moment for the Canadian sporting movement.
“There was such emotion, it was almost like we were taking our place and we were proud to say we wanted to win, and that was a huge shift in our mentality and how we prepare for sport, and its a lasting legacy of the games,” she said.
“We built the systems and the infrastructure to continue to stand on top of that podium, and I was so proud to see Canadians embrace that.”
The cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza, which is owned and operated by Crown corporation BC PavCo through the Vancouver Convention Centre, costs more than $1,500 per hour to operate, and will run for two hours Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
It will also be lit again on Feb. 22.