Fascinating games

Peace, harmony, unity are the themes of the great games

Photo Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: VCG

Just six months after the closing of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Beijing 2022 Winter Games will take the stage, and the world should hail their official launch tomorrow (February 4) at Beijing’s National Stadium. Russian President Vladimir Putin and more than 30 heads of state, government, royal families and international organizations will be present at the opening ceremony to watch the global sports gala evening.

Nicknamed the Bird’s Nest, the giant 91,000-seat stadium was co-designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron of Basel architecture team Herzog & de Meuron, who also staged the opening ceremony of the Olympics summer of 2008, has become one of the country’s landmark buildings and tourist hotspots. It takes place alongside other historical and symbolic monuments in China such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

Once again, seen by tens of millions of people around the world, the sacred Olympic flame will be lit tomorrow at the flagship site.

The Chinese prefer to call the stadium the Bird’s Nest, which in Chinese culture is a metaphor for “family”, “peaceful coexistence” and “benevolence”. It will become the only stadium in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics ceremonies. Peace, harmony and global unity to overcome difficulties like the pandemic will be exhibited throughout the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony two weeks later as well.

The main structure of the stadium is a huge saddle-shaped elliptical steel structure weighing 42,000 tons. The stadium has drawn attention not only for its bewildering architecture, but also for its sustainable design that incorporates natural ventilation and maximizes the use of daylight. Rainwater harvesting techniques and photovoltaic solar power generation are among other notable features.

The opening ceremony, once again, which will be led by acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, will be another visual feast for billions of people around the world, who are in “desperate” need of a respite or relaxation after two years of fatigue and depression caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

To maintain the prevention and control of Covid-19, there will not be a high density of spectators in the Bird’s Nest during the opening ceremony, but more than one billion Chinese people will see the inauguration in front televisions, tablets and mobile phone screens. February 4 – the fourth day of the lunar year of the Tiger.

Like others abroad, 1.4 billion Chinese also need a major sporting event like the Winter Games to enliven and motivate them.

Beijing has pledged to spare no effort to present the world with a great Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony will be a window to judge the city’s preparedness as the world now turns its eyes to the city. Although few details about the ceremony have been revealed so far, Zhang Yimou is considered a master director of ingenuity and creativity. A wide list of modern technologies, including 5G-enabled augmented reality and virtual reality, cloud, robotics, artificial intelligence, and even the metaverse, are at its disposal.

The artistic part of the ceremony will be the most intriguing content for the spectators. Perhaps the 2008 Summer Games Opening Ceremony, led by Zhang, could provide some insight into the style and technique we can expect for future presentations.

The 2008 ceremony, lasting over four hours and attracting a huge global television audience, was hailed by spectators and global media as spectacular and spellbinding, and by many accounts “the largest in history of the Olympic Games”. Through slides of historic scroll paintings, bamboo books, opera dancers and terracotta soldiers, the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization is brought to life. The latest ascent to the torch featured Olympic gymnast Li Ning, who appeared to be running through the air around the giant stadium membrane.

Famous Chinese singer Liu Huan and British singer Sarah Brightman stood on the central platform and sang the 2008 Olympic theme song, “You and Me.” With peach blossoms as a backdrop, large banners sprang up in Chinese and English characters, beaming “All men are brothers in the Four Seas” and “Isn’t it great to have friends from afar ?”

Thousands of years ago, the Chinese carved the character “He”, which means harmony and peace, on turtle shells, and the Great Sage Confucius expounded the philosophical concept of “harmony without uniformity”.

Yes, the Chinese people have long been committed to mutually beneficial cooperation, win-win, inclusive development and common prosperity. As these Beijing Games will demonstrate, we aspire to build a world where all civilizations coexist harmoniously and accommodate each other.