At the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games, 18 districts and counties in Beijing will set off fireworks together to record this historic moment, so that gorgeous Beijing and happy Beijing will go down in history forever. The fireworks feast at the closing ceremony and the Bird’s Nest will surely become the focus of world attention. To this end, Xinhuanet specially invited Zhao Weiping, the general commander of the Bird’s Nest fireworks display, to introduce the related situation of the Bird’s Nest fireworks display at the closing ceremony.
Zhao Weiping, the general commander of the 2008 Olympic Games Bird’s Nest fireworks display, was interviewed by this reporter.
Zhao Weiping: Everything is ready for the fireworks display at the closing ceremony.
Moderator: The expected closing ceremony is about to be staged. Apart from the rich programs prepared by ourselves and the 8-minute performance in London, the fireworks will bring the atmosphere of the audience to a climax. What is the preparation for the fireworks in the closing ceremony?
Zhao Weiping: We have basically finished the preparations for the closing ceremony. There are 420 launching sites and 8,138 fireworks in the closing ceremony. It is necessary to rearrange the layout and rearrange the launcher. At present, the preparations include the installation of fireworks, the structural installation and wiring of the shelves. The rest of the time we will do some tests on them and check them a few more times to be foolproof.
Moderator: Will some equipment at the opening ceremony continue to be used at the closing ceremony?
Zhao Weiping: The equipment that is exactly the same as the opening ceremony is gone. They have all been readjusted. Because each launcher actually involves different specifications and quantities, basically nothing used in the opening ceremony can be used in the closing ceremony. We hung many launchers again and rearranged them, because after all, the products are still very different. This is the difference between the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony.
Moderator: The Bird’s Nest has been in the competition all the time, and the performance place of the closing ceremony is also in the Bird’s Nest, which is bound to bring some difficulties to the preparation of fireworks. What difficulties have you encountered? How do we overcome it?
Zhao Weiping: The biggest problem encountered in the construction of the closing ceremony is that the construction is not allowed during the day, and the other is that it rained heavily two nights ago, which brought us some difficulties and increased the intensity of our work. Our team basically worked all night every day. In addition, there is no light on the bird’s nest at night, and we mainly rely on the peripheral auxiliary lights to illuminate the work, which also increases the difficulty of our work. But even under such circumstances, everyone made unremitting efforts, especially the encouragement brought by the success of the Olympic opening ceremony. It should be said that the whole team is United as one and has high morale, hoping to complete the closing ceremony successfully.
Moderator: Our staff is still in a very good state, without any slack?
Zhao Weiping: No. We also held a mobilization meeting yesterday, which was the last mobilization before the closing ceremony. I hope everyone can make a great effort to make the closing ceremony beautiful. After these mobilizations, everyone is still very active. Everyone performed very well, and I was very touched. I think it must be the fighting spirit of the Olympic Games that encouraged everyone. I am very satisfied with the performance of the team, as a person, as the leader of the enterprise or as the commander-in-chief of the fireworks display team.
Moderator: This time, the preparation is quite adequate, but the closing ceremony has not been rehearsed. Will you feel a little insecure?
Zhao Weiping: No, because as the closing ceremony itself, there is no substantive rehearsal, but every discharge in front of the Bird’s Nest can be said to be a rehearsal for the closing ceremony. Because each discharge and installation will bring more experience, more protection and more confidence to the next one.
The staff installed the Bird’s Nest fireworks in the daytime and at night (picture provided by Panda Fireworks Company).
The fireworks of "Xiangyun", the first appearance of the closing ceremony, will ignite the night of passion.
Moderator: Then can you tell us specifically what kind of fireworks will be displayed at the closing ceremony?
Zhao Weiping: There are still some differences between the closing ceremony and the opening ceremony. Everyone has seen the opening ceremony. There are five rings, footprints, some beautiful wings on the top of the bird’s nest, doves of peace, countdown in the stadium, waterfalls, lightning, thunder, including the peony flowers we talked about, and dynamic five-color rings, all of which have their own characteristics. We also used the chip bomb (which is the most advanced in the world at present) and used air launch for the first time. These are the results of our technological innovation.
Our main product innovation at the closing ceremony is an auspicious cloud. As we all know, Xiangyun has spread all over the world, and we also hope that the creativity of fireworks can be expressed by Xiangyun, which may be different from our Xiangyun torch. There will be spiral and dynamic fireworks at dozens of points on the top of the bird’s nest, which has never been seen before. Xiangyun has two colors, including a gold one. This is a relatively good product, and it took us about half a year to develop it after receiving the task book from the Olympic Organizing Committee.
Another highlight of the closing ceremony is that we have a colorful circle on the top of the Bird’s Nest. After typing, you will see a fireworks circle, which is quite beautiful, and it has been launched twice. We didn’t have such a variety in the last opening ceremony. It exploded in the sky after you hit it from below and saw the effect. The products we used at the opening ceremony last time did not explode in the sky, but this time there will be an explosion in the air, which will present a very beautiful scene and bright colors. At last, a round pattern made by a big fireworks will be formed on the periphery of the bowl at the top of the Bird’s Nest. I think this round pattern also indicates the complete success of the whole Olympic Games, which can also be said to be "round and full". Everyone is happy and safe. The Olympic Games shows her moral through these fireworks, so I think these will also bring you some aesthetic feeling and some new visual impact. The other difference between the closing ceremony and the opening ceremony is that we have more dynamic things running fast on the top of the bird’s nest in the closing ceremony.
Moderator: So what is the scale of the fireworks display at the closing ceremony?
Zhao Weiping: From the top of the Bird’s Nest, the whole scale of fireworks in the closing ceremony is smaller than that in the opening ceremony. This time, we don’t have bowl products, which means that there is nothing inside the Bird’s Nest, and the part outside the Bird’s Nest is basically the same as that in the opening ceremony.
Closing Ceremony The Beijing Municipal Government and the Olympic Organizing Committee hope that the whole city will have an opportunity to celebrate together and hold fireworks celebrations in 18 districts and counties in Beijing, because after all, it was almost seven years since we won the right to host the Olympic Games in 2001, and many people all over the country worked hard for it. On the whole, this scale is unprecedented in Beijing’s history, and it can be said that there is no such scale in the world. At that time, after the closing ceremony, fireworks will be lit in 18 districts and counties at the same time. I think this can be applied for Guinness Book of Records, which has never been seen in any city or at any time in the past.
The fireworks display at the closing ceremony is not affected by rain.
Moderator: If it rains on the closing day, will it affect the fireworks display?
Zhao Weiping: This is no problem. Because we have already installed the fireworks, it can be said that the problem of rain has been solved at this stage, and it will not be affected whether it rains or other circumstances. If it rains heavily, of course we will listen to the organizing Committee, but as far as I know, it won’t rain before the 24th.