Published On: Jul 26 2012 02:54:50 PM CDTUpdated On: Jan 07 2014 03:20:03 PM CST
One of the most anticipated parts of Olympics opening ceremonies is usually the lighting of the cauldron. As the 2014 Winter Olympics approach, take a look at memorable cauldron lighters from past Olympic Games.
The cauldron is often lit by a revered former Olympian. While their identities are kept secret until the ceremonies, the final torch bearers typically are individuals or groups from the host nation.
Take a look at memorable cauldron lighters from past Olympic Games.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky. 2010 winter, Vancouver.
Former Chinese gymnast Li Ning. 2008 summer, Beijing.
Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman. 2000 summer, Sydney, Australia.
Members of the famed "Miracle on Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. 2002 winter, Salt Lake City.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali. 1996 summer, Atlanta.
French soccer standout Michel Platini (along with 9-year-old Francois-Cyrille Grange). 1992 winter, Albertville, France.
Amateur runner Yoshinori Sakai, who was born near Hiroshima in 1945, the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb there. 1964 summer, Tokyo.
Finnish runner and former Olympian Paavo Nurmi (along with Hannes Kolehmainen). 1952 summer, Helsinki, Finland.
1936 Summer, Berlin. These were the first Games to introduce the caldron lighting, performed by runner Fritz Schilgen to the applause of Adolf Hitler and surrounded by Nazi propaganda.
To find out more about 2014's cauldron lighter after the announcement is made, and for more information on the Winter Olympic Games, go to www.sochi2014.com.