It's a shame you can't see the Olympic flame. That was the reaction from visitors to London's Olympic Park and across Twitter on Saturday, as the intricate cauldron and its copper petals remained out of sight in the middle of the stadium.
All recent Olympics have featured a flaming cauldron, visible across the Olympic precinct.
But in London, only spectators lucky enough to have a ticket for events inside the main stadium will actually see it. Other park visitors will only be able to see an image beamed onto big screens.
At a news conference Saturday, cauldron creator Thomas Heatherwick defended the decision, saying organizers had tried to resist the temptation of creating a cauldron that was bigger, fatter or higher than at previous games.
"There was the complete precedent of the 1948 (London) Games of the cauldron set within the stadium... to one side with the spectators and with the technology we now have that didn't exist in 1948 it can be shared with everyone in the Park with screens," Heatherwick said.
The cauldron design was backed by the UK prime minister, but some members of the International Olympic Committee are said to be privately critical of the concept.
— Sandy Macintyre and Mark Davies
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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- Thomas Heatherwick