The Bridge: A Vision for the Paris Opening Ceremony

The Bridge: A Vision for the Paris Opening Ceremony

Millau Viaduct in France – Tallest Bridge in the World

Imagine an Opening Ceremony that harkens back to 1992, in Barcelona, with Antonio Rebollo loosing the flaming arrow that lit that Flame.

Imagine a gigantic world map in the stadium, with the countries conventionally displayed.

Which at the right time becomes a relief map… no countries… just land, sea, air, life… and a rainbow-coloured target over Paris.

Now imagine two archers – a man and a woman – in the Stade de France, ready to send electronic arrows from far on either side of the map, with electronic bows, to – not the main cauldron of the Flame – but to that very special, network-connected target hovering over Paris on the map.

That target will be connected to a network of more than 60 million smartphones all over the world and in the stadium, all of which have downloaded an app – “The Bridge,” months before that August evening in St. Denis.

The app could do a lot of things to bring people closer together over the months before the Games, including live-streaming the Olympic Channel.

The Olympic Flame enters the stadium in time-honoured fashion, held high by the last runner of hundreds.

That runner then lights a small flame receptacle, which is clearly suspended over the main Olympic cauldron.

The archers aim, and loose their virtual arrows, flaming and visible to everyone watching television and on-line at home, and to everyone in the stadium, through their AR glasses [cheap enough by then to be included in the price of a ticket, though most people will wear their own].

The arrows hit their target, which explodes in sound and light… and sends a signal, visible on the map, to all of those 60 million smartphones.

The signal from that target instantaneously enables a button on all of those 60 million screens. The button has a simple name: “Light.”

When pressed, each button sends a signal back through the cloud to servers in Paris.

Everyone sees, first, live shots of actual people, around the world, pressing “Light.”

[Click image to enlarge]

Then, their button presses are progressively displayed in points of light on the map…

The lights build… and build… and build… as the crowd in the Stade de France roars louder and louder… until the magic number of signals has been received… and three things happen:

The map explodes into the flashing colours of national flags…

The suspended Flame is released in a flare – and the loudest roar from the stadium crowd – into the cauldron, which bursts into flaming life.

Then, every phone screen around the world [and in the stadium] lights with the image of the Olympic Flame.

Why bows and arrows to initiate the lighting of the Flame?

Because this is the first Electronic Games, and Virtual Reality Archery can be the first true electronic sport.

But also because Virtual Reality Archery, like another famous French bridge – the Millau Viaduct – is a triumph of engineering.

“Viaduct” is from the Latin, Via DucereLead the Way.

The Paris 2024 theme is: “MADE FOR SHARING

In London 2012, seven athletes shared in the lighting.

Paris could be like that… plus about 59,999,993 others.