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Don't miss impressive opening ceremony, says broadcast chief

China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-21 09:07
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The opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be "very different" from that of the 2008 Summer Games but will be "equally impressive," according to Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS).

Exarchos, also the executive director of Olympic Channel Services, heaped praise on the show after watching rehearsals.

"What I can probably tell you is that this ceremony is probably equally impressive as the one in 2008, which we know is one of the most iconic opening ceremonies in the history of the Olympic Games," Exarchos told an International Olympic Committee technical briefing for the Games.

"And it's completely different. It's equally impressive, equally moving, but completely different. It reflects our times."

As part of the broadcasting team, Exarchos worked with acclaimed director Zhang Yimou to present the 2008 showpiece to the world, which the Greek described as "a highlight of my professional life".

With Zhang reappointed chief director for the 2022 Games' ceremonies, Exarchos said he was relishing having another chance to work with a director who understands the needs of broadcasters and TV producers.

"The ceremony is practically ready, and it's a ceremony that nobody should miss for any reason," he enthused.

Already working in the closed-loop management system, which has been established to eliminate the threat of COVID-19, Exarchos was keen to stress just how safe he feels at the Games. "We are in a very, very safe country," he said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Lucia Montanarella, associate director of Olympic Games media operations of the IOC, who found the closed loop "has been working very well".

"I'm sure that all the reporters to come, even if you talk to the technicians of the agencies here, I think they will have the same comments," she added.

Exarchos also lavished praise on the Beijing 2022 venues, which he described as "really spectacular, not just the design, but the technical execution".

"The infrastructure for the Olympic Games is very, very complex. I must say that it's probably the best we have ever seen in terms of a winter edition of the Olympic Games," he said.

"This is very, very important, because it will mean that all of us will be able to do our work in the best possible conditions."


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