As the host city of the next Winter Games, Beijing staged a splendid eight-minute show at the closing ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Sunday, conveying a warm invitation to the whole world.
“See you in Beijing in 2022,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a video message presented during the show.
“Together with all the Chinese people, I welcome friends from all over the world,” Xi said.
Entertainers perform during the Beijing segment of the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 25, 2018.
The show was directed by Zhang Yimou, a famous Chinese director who was also responsible for the eight-minute summer handover in Athens in 2004 as well as the opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing in 2008 that received considerable international acclaim.
One of the performances during the Beijing segment.
Unlike Athens which focused on displaying Chinese history with traditional elements like red lantern and jasmine, “Beijing 8 Minutes” emphasized the Chinese people’s sincere welcome to the world using modern technology.
The segment was captivating.
Performers danced with 24 intelligent robots – representing Beijing hosting the 24th Winter Olympics – as they showed scenes of sports such as skating and skiing.
Leading the team were two dancers in costumes of panda puppets that are the world’s largest but the lightest at the same time, each weighing only about 10 kilograms. To guarantee minimal pressure on the two dancers, researchers had tried hundreds of different materials until ending up with a combination of aluminum alloy tube and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer strip.
Beijing invited the world to 2022.
During the whole performance the dancers and robots both wore LED lights on them that are capable of enduring the cold weather at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium without the risks of breaking. The uniforms were also made with graphene to keep the dancers warm.
Images were projected to the icy floor while dancers skated across it, creating a sense of augmented reality. A number of moving monitors in the middle of the field were also controlled by artificial intelligence.
The PyeongChang Olympics began on February 9 and 102 medals in total were handed out.
Norway headed the medal table with 14 golds and 39 medals in total, followed by Germany (14 golds, 31 medals in total) and Canada (11 golds). China ranked 16th with one gold, six silvers and two bronzes.