Dear LAist: Is Our Olympic Torch Lit?
This query made its way into the LAist inbox, and we tracked down the answer:
Just wondering, is the Coliseum cauldron lit for the Olympics right now?
First stop on the investigation (besides some people mentioning they've seen it lit during other Olympics before) was good old Wikipedia; the entry for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum explains that the cauldron is lit on special occasions, such as "during the fourth quarter of USC football games, and other special occasions (e.g., when the Olympics are being held in another city)."
But just to be sure, LAist's Adam Rose went right to the source, and got in touch with Jon Lee, a spokesman for the Coliseum, who told us: "There was initially a press conference conducted here at the Coliseum right at the start of the Games. The IOC asks that the torch NOT be lit as a matter of proper protocol. They stipulate that the only Olympic flame illuminated should be at the venue currently in use." However, Lee also mentioned that they've had the torch lit during the Olympics in the past, but not this year or last, either.
So, no, the Olympic Cauldron at LA's Coliseum is not lit up in honor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. You're welcome to light one of your own at home, but, remember, it's not proper protocol, and it's also fire season, so maybe you're better off just cheering along as you watch the games on TV. Incidentally, the Coliseum is the only venue in history to have been host to two Olympic games, 1932 and 1984.
Photo of the Olympic cauldron at the Coliseum lit for a USC game by maveric2003 via Flickr