Opening ceremony shows off China’s tech prowess with 3D screens, digital fireworks, and more
It has been raining for three days in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, where the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games was held.
As the rain continued to fall in the days leading up to the Opening Ceremony, which marked the start of the Games, there was speculation in and around the venue that the Chinese authorities were conducting artificial rainfall operations to ensure good weather for the Opening Ceremony.
As the rain continued into the morning of the 23rd, there were concerns that the opening ceremony could be scaled back and moved to a nearby indoor basketball court instead of the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium.
Fortunately, the rain stopped by the afternoon, and the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games at the Olympic Stadium went ahead as planned, showcasing China’s cutting-edge technology.
Prior to the opening ceremony, the organizing committee announced that the Games would be the first ever “carbon neutral” Asian Games.
China’s trademark large-scale fireworks display was skipped in favor of ‘digital fireworks’.
The fireworks were set off through 3D animation and virtual reality technology, which were so realistic that people watching the TV broadcast were fooled into thinking, “There are no fireworks…”.
As announced by the Opening Ceremony General Director, Mr. Xiao Lan, screens were set up on the stage floor to create various effects, and a 3D stereoscopic screen was erected to recreate the Qiantang River, Hangzhou’s representative river, inside the stadium.
During the celebratory performances, lanterns flew over the stage, and during the introduction of the Games mascots, giant soccer balls and basketballs were brought into the stadium using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
China also created a stage for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics that was carbon neutral and utilized HD screens.
At that time, China used HD LED screens to create snow and ice on the opening ceremony stage, and AI live motion capture technology to create animated effects on the floor screen during children’s performances.
In addition, the smallest torch ever lit at an Olympic Games was said to be eco-friendly and low-carbon.
The opening ceremony of the Asian Games also featured a waterfall through a screen vertically connected to the top and bottom of the stadium, which was also used in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Opening ceremony director Xiao Lan was also responsible for lighting the closing ceremony at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The torch lighting also featured a virtual reality torchbearer for the first time ever.
A digital torchbearer, representing the more than 100 million people around the world who participated in the digital torch relay, floated across the Qiantan River into the stadium and lit the flame with Tokyo 2021 Olympic swimming gold medalist Wang Shun.
The Games continued a trend that began with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the first international multi-sport event to be held after the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in which the opening and closing ceremonies were heavily infused with digital technology, maximizing the impact of the event on television rather than on the field.
From the “artificial rainfall” in the days leading up to the opening ceremony to the lighting of the torch in the final moments of the ceremony, China’s technological prowess was on full display.
The running joke that the final torchbearer at the opening ceremony will be a panda, which is often heard at Chinese multi-sport events, may become a reality in the near future as the digital co-lighters jumped over the stadium roof. 스포츠토토