The opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, featured North Yorkshire based company Stage One Creative Services, who were commissioned to install and operate the aerial flying system.
Stage One won the contract in summer 2017 and since designed and installed a flying system above the stadium where the opening ceremony was held.
Comprising fourteen winches and steel wire cable installed 50m above the field of play, this flying system adds a strong creative dimension to the spectacular opening show.
One of the largest technical challenges has been ensuring that the engineering remains operational in exceptionally cold conditions. Although today’s forecast anticipates temperatures just above freezing, the system has been exposed to temperatures as low as minus forty degrees.
Forty degrees below is the only temperature that has the same value in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
To cope with these conditions, the winches have been enclosed in insulated shipping containers that are placed at the base of each of the large towers around the perimeter of the stadium. The technology seems to have adapted well to these extreme conditions, despite the system operators still feeling the chill.
Mark Johnson, CEO, said: “Being asked to deliver Olympic Ceremony work is a tremendous privilege. The technology we have to offer is world class and well proven. We’ve been at every Games since Athens in 2004. However, with the eyes of the world watching, there is always an air of anticipation ahead of the show. These are, after all, live events.”
The company is scheduled to deliver three more ceremonies at PyeongChang, the Olympic Closing Ceremony and both ceremonies for the Paralympic Games.