If you’re looking for a little morning motivation, something to kick your day off on a productive foot, I do not recommend waking up at 6 a.m. and watching the Olympics opening ceremony. I did this today and am now forced to doing nothing but spend the next 12 hours Googling “very long glow sticks where to buy.” However, if you are ever in need of a sports-themed psychedelic light show, perhaps the 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony is exactly what you seek.
Friday morning (U.S. time), the Beijing Olympic Games began in extremely trippy fashion. We’re talking performers swinging around extra-long glow sticks, some dancing snowflakes, pyrotechnics, sign carriers in panda hats, and large-scale versions of what I can only describe as gorgeous screensavers, each equal parts impressive and confusing. Also a maskless Putin was there despite the threat of a possible war with Ukraine and Russia being banned from the Olympics over doping violations. That part was just confusing. (Russian athletes present at the Games are competing under the Russian Olympic Committee. The Russian flag and national anthem will not be present, per the ban.)
There was projection mapping galore, which has become something of a staple for the Olympics opening ceremony. Rightfully so. I would watch an entire competition in which people skate on something that looks like a big computer screen with pretty shapes and colors. It’s a sport that would pair well with last year’s human pictograms, which I missed dearly this year. Come back, pictograms!
When you look at the above picture — a group of people in a dark arena, pointing hockey sticks at a big, fake ice block — do you think Olympics? No! That is the inside of a video game. That is the last five of my brain cells trying to come up with an idea. That is a dream I once had, and if my memory serves me correctly, they’re all about to be late for their high-school musical, in which they take the ACT live onstage. (The performers are actually pretending to shoot a big hockey puck at that giant block of ice, but does that really sound any more believable than anything I just said?)
And guess who made a special appearance?
The moon! She was there for her birthday (the Lunar New Year)! Great work, the moon!
Anyway, I will take this hallucinatory opening ceremony over last year’s eerie one any day.