More than 1,800 drones configuring smoothly into a revolving planet Earth was one of the most talked-about parts of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Fans were expected to be wowed by even more drones at the closing ceremony today. And they did get wowed, but not by a drone light show. The display today was “made for TV” special effects magic.
Tokyo Olympics light show explained
Toward the end of the closing ceremony, the Olympic Stadium suddenly plunged into darkness. This dramatism was necessary for what was about to play out – the “Moving Forward” part of the ceremony.
Beautiful, dancing colors swirled together, representing the many colors of the world’s flags. And then, viewers saw individual lights rising up, meant to symbolize the passion, dedication, hopes, and dreams of each athlete on the field.
In the words of the organizers:
Together, these lights rise to form a luminous wave — representing the Olympic spirit that lives within us all. As these lights take flight across the stadium, we remember the many people whose contribution made the Olympics possible, both near and far, as well as those who could not be here today.
At this moment, each particle of light joined to form the unmistakable Olympic Rings, a timeless symbol of worldwide unity that brings millions together in shared celebration. Watch:
This stunning light show was designed by a Montreal-based company called Moment Factory. These folks specialize in creating unique light and sound experiences using cutting-edge technologies such as augmented reality and mixed reality. Here are some of their other creations:
Not as much fun for stadium audience
However, this spectacle was created especially for the TV audience. Those in the stadium saw nothing, which makes us think the organizers probably would have gone with something else for the grand finale had there been paying spectators in the stadium.
Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony secret drone light show?
But wait, this doesn’t mean that drones didn’t get to be a part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Closing Ceremony at all. The official Twitter account of the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee has shared a drone light show video that shows where the Olympic Games are headed next.
You see LED-equipped drones transforming neatly into the flag of France as well as the Paris 2024 logo that combines three separate symbols – the gold medal, the flame, and Marianne, the personification of the French Republic.
Our initial thought was that this segment may have come from the rehearsals conducted before the Olympics, such as this one that was caught on camera by a Tokyo resident in July:
But it’s more likely that the clip was an extension of an Intel drone light show that recreated the pictograms of the 50 Olympic disciplines:
And if you’re a fan of drone light shows, you should definitely check out:
- Greenpeace sends powerful message to G7 leaders, using 300 drones
- Chelsea celebrates Champions League victory with stellar drone light show
- Baby Yoda lights up the sky in Disney+ drone show
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