The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is an elaborate, stunning production, conceived to leave a lasting impression to viewers. Not only the stadium audience but people around the world eagerly awaited the celebration. The large-screen ASTROVISION had become an indispensable tool for the production of the Opening Ceremony, and the Panasonic staff were full of accomplishment as the ASTROVISION displayed a beautiful image following the countdown and spectacular stadium fireworks. Just a week before, the team had only just started assembly work on this giant screen.
An Installation Site full of Tension
The installation of the ASTROVISION in Athens was tasked to Panasonic’s elite team of Europe-based professionals specializing in event and sport installations. The international team consisted of engineers from various countries, as well as senior managers flown in from Japan. With just a handful of members, the team set to work assembling the massive screens simultaneously across several venues.
The giant screens were the focal point for everyone watching the Olympic Games. They only had one shot to make things perfect. Hernan Poblete, the ASTROVISION team leader, was keenly aware of the gravity of this preparation.
“The ASTROVISION is placed in areas most visible to the large crowd of spectators. Our work may be behind-the-scenes, but we might as well be center stage. It’s a huge responsibility.”
To add to the stress, the ASTROVISION was part of the surprise production at the Opening Ceremony to light the Olympic flame. Even rehearsals and testing for this top secret staging had to be conducted away from public view. The ASTROVISION team worked feverishly amid the tight schedule and stresses of guaranteed success.
A Fantastic Visual Production that Filled the Stadium with Emotion
The Opening Ceremony commenced with a scene showing the ancient and modern Olympic Games bridging several thousand years to finally unite in Athens. Beyond the ASTROVISION, a comet flame was launched from the ancient stadium, landing into the water surface of the modern stadium and setting fire to the five Olympic rings. The ceremony had commenced.
By the time midnight rolled around, the event had reached the climax: the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.
The torch that had traveled through the five continents returned to its origin for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games to light the Cauldron. The Olympic flame rose slowly to light the night sky of Athens. The ASTROVISION again displayed the scene unfolding in the stadium. Only then did Team Panasonic feel a surge of accomplishment and were overcome with emotion.