Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) President HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (R) inspects the Olympic copper petal as Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah looks on during yesterday's unveiling at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. HRH said that the Olympic petal is now a part of Brunei's sporting history. Picture: Courtesy of Infofoto
Brunei will have a distinctive Olympics souvenir to call its own with yesterday's unveiling of the copper petal that represented the Sultanate in the London Olympics caldron.
The innovative Cauldron was made of 204 petals which represented the participating nations at last July's sporting extravaganza, where the opening ceremony - which attracted a global audience of one billion people - had the small flames from every petal raised together to an upright position to form a single spectacular Olympic flame.
The BBC reported that designer Thomas Heatherwick has said his Olympic cauldron represents the "coming together in peace" of each of the 204 competing countries - and that at the end of the Games, each nation would be given its petal to take away and the cauldron would "dismantle itself" and disappear.
Unlike any other Olympic cauldron, Heatherwick's unique interpretation was made up of 204 flames in copper petal-like bowls mounted on stems which, once lit by seven young torchbearers, were raised to merge into one huge flame which was lit throughout the July 27-August 12 event.
Numbered 1/204, Brunei's petal arrived from the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) on December 19.
Speaking to The Brunei Times during a photo-op at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday, Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) president HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah said the petal is now a part of Brunei's sporting history.
"It will stay here forever ... as part of our country's pride," said HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah.
"This is the first time they (organising committee) have done something like this and we are still looking for the best place to put it on display.
"The public are most welcome to look at it on display and we will inform them when and where it will be up," added HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, who spent time after the photo session talking to London 2012 Olympians Ak Hafiy Tajuddin Pg Rositi, Maziah Mahusin and Paralympian Shari Hj Juma'at.
The country's third London 2012 Olympian, Anderson Lim Chee Wei, is still in his training base at the Bolles School in Florida, America
One possible venue for the petal is the newly renovated Sports Gallery at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, where HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah was seen talking to officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and BNOC after the photo-op.
Selected photos from yesterday's session will be "set to Heatherwick and LOCOG chairman Lord Sebastian Coe as a memento from BNOC and as a statement that the iconic petal has found its home," stated BNOC in a press release issued yesterday.
Heatherwick, who has been called "the Leonardo da Vinci of our times" by his mentor and fellow designer Sir Terence Conran, was aiming for a concept where "these 204 very small, humble objects where they come together and rise, rear out of the surface of centre the stadium".
"We were aware that cauldrons have been getting bigger, higher and fatter as each Olympics has happened and we felt that we shouldn't try to be even bigger than the last ones," he told the BBC.
"We were thinking about this incredible event with these 204 nations coming together, a peace somehow, even though (it is part of) a sporting challenge.
"It didn't feel enough to just design a different shape of bowl on a stick, and so we were trying to think from the most fundamental where - as much as how - as much what, and working with Danny (London Olympics opening ceremony artistic director Danny Boyle) on who would make this happen," he added.
Heatherwick went on to note that the copper petals were created by traditionally skilled craftsmen of the sort who used to roll sheet metal to make body parts for car makers such as Bentley.
Also present at yesterday's photo-op were the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, the British High Commissioner, His Excellency Rob Fenn, officials from the ministry, BNOC and national coaches.
Courtesy from Brunei Times