Special Olympics Open in Abu Dhabi
The dramatic Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony took place in the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi yesterday. We’ve had crew on site for three weeks, installing an automation and scenic package including a two-line catenary, a large flown LED disc, stage lift and a stunning telescopic cauldron.
Described by organisers as ‘a spectacular celebration of humanity at its brilliant best’, the show delivered plenty of excitement to the 40,000 spectators and athletes from the largest number of participating nations to date.
The automated cauldron delivered a key moment in the ceremony. Designed by Martin Sutherland and People, it comprised 252 individual rolled and anodised aluminium plates, arranged in twelve nesting layers. Driven by a central column lift, the layers rose to reveal a pattern of anodised colours referencing the traditional weave pattern widely recognised across the UAE. Each plate was inscribed with the name of a participating nation.
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a life-long advocate for children’s health and disability issues, it focuses on the empowerment of People of Determination with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport.
The Games run until 21st March. Find out more here.