Russia put on a grand technological spectacle to close the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
The ceremony in the brand new Fisht Olympic stadium provided a dazzling light show for spectators. Staged by director Daniele Finzi Pasca, the event included 7,000 performers, including a children’s choir from 83 regions in Russia. A system of pulleys suspended from the rafters helped stage the huge props used in the show. The show demonstrated that you can create a pretty spectacular screen when you have an unlimited budget.
The technology behind the spectacle was pretty cool. The mobile stage system displayed 43,000 scenic elements in what organizer Andrei Nasonovskiy called the “largest theater in the world.” The theme of the ceremony was Reflections of Russia. The best sporting moments of the Olympics were displayed on the giant screens of the Fisht Stadium. The floor of the stadium was also like a giant display, depicting animated waves on a simulated ocean.
In the finale, a giant polar bear put out the Olympic Flame, followed by a huge fireworks show. One of the main decorations was a light-emitting diode “forest,” which consisted of 204 12-meter high light tubes. If you put them together end to end, the tubes would be 1.5 miles long. The tubes changed color throughout the show, and they matched the LED medallions that spectators wore. With the fireworks, the light show became a visual feast.
When you look at all of this technology, it’s not surprising to know that Russia spent $50 billion or more on the Olympics.