The SEA Games Cauldron — an icon of Singapore’s sporting history

Photo: Singapore Sports Hub
Photo: Singapore Sports Hub

While we are taking this downtime to rediscover Singapore in lieu of international travel, consider diving into Singapore’s sporting history, which is filled with awe-inspiring struggles and triumphs. You might have noticed the gleaming SEA Games Cauldron, which embellishes the Stadium Riverside Walk. If you’re keen on exploring Singapore’s rich sporting legacy, this 19.2-meter-high structure in front of the National Stadium is a must-visit. Before we get to this modern sculpture, however, we have to mention the Old National Stadium Cauldron, which had its base preserved and now sits in a separate location in Arena Park.

Upon hearing the word ‘cauldron’, an image of witches chanting double, double, toil and trouble might come to mind, but that’s not the case for the Old National Stadium Cauldron. What was its significance? Well, the lighting of the cauldron was used to signify the start of the Games and the role of final torchbearer was reserved for the most esteemed athletes. The torch itself would be carried across the island by past and current competitors of the SEA Games, which was previously known as the SEAP Games. A prominent Singaporean athlete who has had the honor of lighting the cauldron is national sprinter C. Kunalan, who ignited the symbolic flame in 1973 when Singapore hosted the Games. At the time, he had set a national record in the 100m sprint, which remained unbeaten for 33 years until 2001. 

Today, the new SEA Games Cauldron stands prominently at the Stadium Riverside Walk. It’s hard to miss this eye-catching landmark when you walk along the waterfront at Singapore Sports Hub. The cauldron was unveiled on May 6. 2015, ahead of the 28th SEA Games, and it will continue to be used for future sporting events. The triple helix structure was inspired by the double helix structure of DNA, and symbolizes the connection between communities from around the world

This towering stainless steel sculpture isn’t just pretty to look at either, as it also displays information like the time, weather, key messages and live scores during the Games. Visitors can also scan the QR codes located at the base of the cauldron to learn more about the sporting events. See both cauldrons for yourself at the Singapore Sports Hub when you embark on the Sports, Arts and Heritage Trail! You’ll be thoroughly engaged and entertained on this three-trails-in-one self-guided tour. The Park Trail will take you to the Old National Stadium Cauldron at Arena Park, while the Waterfront Trail will take you to the new cauldron. 

Find out more about the Sports, Arts and Heritage Trail here

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