A perfect performance

By LI YINGXUE in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-09 07:40
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The Asian Games mascots, Lianlian, Chenchen and Congcong escort Team China's flag bearer into the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. WEI XIAOHAO/GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY/REUTERS

Spectacular closing ceremony bids an emotional farewell to Hangzhou, spotlighting the contributions of essential workers and volunteers, as well as the achievements of the thousands of athletes

The giant digital torchbearer, who ignited the main flame alongside the Olympic champion and 19th Asian Games gold medalist swimmer Wang Shun during the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou, was back.

With a new name, "Wave Rider", it made a return appearance to witness the ceremonial extinguishing of the flame, accompanied by volunteers and athletes at the closing ceremony in the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, fondly referred to as the "Big Lotus", on Sunday night.

The closing ceremony, themed "Enduring Memories of Hangzhou", brought the athletes to the center stage, setting the tone for a festive atmosphere.

Short films were screened to recap the thrilling and heartwarming moments of the Games, highlighting athletes from 45 countries and regions.

Sha Xiaolan, chief director of the ceremony, said the show also extended heartfelt gratitude to all the volunteers, whose contributions have been instrumental in the success of the Games.

The beauty of technology dazzled, with a notable highlight being the "digital lawn". After the final athletics event on the evening of Oct 5, when the competition facilities were removed, all that remained for the closing ceremony stage was a simple lawn.

The creative team made the bold decision to utilize this lawn to craft the "world's largest and most exquisite garden" to provide a tranquil and joyful retreat for the athletes, Sha said.

This seemingly ordinary lawn hid a remarkable secret. Sha explained "though the lawn appears unassuming, it concealed nearly 40,000 luminescent points. During the closing ceremony, the lawn harmonized with the performances, conjuring up patterns such as blossoms and waves. Furthermore, through AR technology, viewers at home got a complete view of this enchanting garden."

Chinese culture also continued to radiate through the closing ceremony. Sunday coincided with "Cold Dew", one of the 24 solar terms on the Chinese lunar calendar, signifying the season when lotus and osmanthus in Hangzhou gracefully transition.

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