Contrary to popular belief, the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremonies is, in fact, a decidedly modern affair. The culmination of the torch relay in a grandiose display at the Opening Ceremonies is a relic of the 1936 Berlin Games—just one of many attempts by the Nazi regime to lend a mythical air to the Games. Still, despite its dubious history, the lighting of the cauldron has evolved into one of the most spectacular and ostentatious displays at the Games. And the secretiveness that surrounds the lead-up to the ceremony only lends to the hype.
When it comes to the 2010 Games, the speculation about who will be selected to light the cauldron has coalesced around whether VANOC will go the traditional route and opt for a former Olympian or take the road less-travelled and pick someone from outside the sports world. Facebook groups have popped up promoting everyone from Terry Fox’s mother, Betty, to former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden. So far, Vancouver’s Olympic organizers have kept a tight lid on who the potential candidates might be. We’ve assembled a list of the names making the rounds, but feel free to add your own in the poll or in the comments below.