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Olympic opening ceremony combines technology, originality
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15:44, August 10, 2008

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With huge LED screens, eye-catching lighting systems and multimedia video shows, one of the hallmarks of the Games' opening ceremony was its use of cutting-edge technology.

This was thanks to the efforts of Yu Jianping, director of the technology group for the opening ceremony, who led a 500-strong team of experts.

From the elevated platform to the video system, the creation team worked hard to ensure that the whole ceremony went without a hitch.

"The technology used at the Games' opening ceremony was some of the most complicated in history," Yu said.

Photo taken on Aug. 8, 2008 shows the art performance of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, titled "Beautiful Olympics", in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, in north Beijing, China.

"One of the features of the ceremony was its perfect combination of advanced technology and great originality."

At the event, a 147 m by 22 m LED screen, one of the biggest in the world, was laid at the center of the stadium. There was also a 36-m long by 30-m wide structure, with a total of 11 separate elevated platforms.

"Since all of the facilities were completed on June 10, we had only two months to tackle any problems," Yu, who is also the deputy designer of Shenzhou VII, China's third manned spacecraft, said.

On Yu's initiative, modern technology was introduced to many aspects of the ceremony. Apart from the huge LED screen and elevated platform, the globe that rose up at the end of the performance was another highlight.

With a diameter of 18 m, the globe weighs around 16 tons and can be raised to a height of 24 m. A total of 58 actors performed at the globe, with half of them being upside down for part of the time.

"It was the first time such a huge globe was used in China," Yu said. "The material on its surface was a kind of flexible aluminum."

Their other creations included the huge scroll, 20 mm thick and weighing around 800 g, and the digital direction and control system.

"Apart from the communication system, all of the technology we used was developed by Chinese companies," Yu said.


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