Thursday, August 28, 2008

The eternal flutter ... Beijing Olympics

Having been away over the weekend, I've just got around to watching through some bits of the Olympic closing ceremony. The over-riding impression I was left with as I watched was the sheer organisation and discipline of the Chinese organisers.

Light wheels at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics 2008

Huge numbers of performers, working in low light, with few cues. Beyond military timing. But close to perfect.

And taking chances with high wire jinks and acrobatics, light wheels (gyro-cycles) and synchronised fireworks.

Fireworks that can spell out numbers. That can be fired by cannon into the air. That make the coloured Olympic rings.

Bus 2012 at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics 2008

With no way of practising the closing ceremony in the stadium after the sporting events had started, there was no opportunity for a last minute dress rehearsal. (Maybe explains why the camera work around the London eight-minute segment was so poor. Though I did like the mellow National Anthem ... better than Whole Lotta Love.)

Olympic flag fluttering at the Beijing closng ceremony

But perhaps the clearest example of organisation and leaving nothing to chance were the flagpoles, with compressed air blowing out near the top to keep the huge heavy flags fluttering inside the windless stadium.

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