Last month was home to the largest meeting of athletes in the world. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea was one that set records, broke stereotypes, and sure as heck didn’t disappoint.
Now you might be wondering why we’re writing about the winter Olympics seeing golf wasn’t a sport, although some of us at Eagle Vision might start a petition for this:
Looks fun right!? But were not here to talk about golf, we’re here to talk about drones.
If we had to guess, you probably missed the appearance drones made in the Olympics. And that’s okay because there were a lot of distractions including Olympians riding up escalator rails, hungarian snowboarders finding loopholes into the games, or a group of what seems to be American dads, with textbook dad bods, winning gold in Olympic curling. Again, lots of distractions, we totally understand, and that’s why we’re bringing you this article.
Drones played an awe-inspiring role in both the opening and closing ceremonies.
The opening and closing ceremonies historically contain some of the best performances on the planet. They revolve around the idea of officially declaring the athletic games open and closed as they light the official Olympic flame. They both have mesmerizing choreography that allows host countries to represent their culture and give the rest of the world a sneak peek inside.
The 2018 Olympics teamed up with Intel to send 300 drones, each with special LED lights on them, into the sky. How cool is that? With technology playing such a large role in Asian cultures, I can’t imagine a more fitting twist on the choreography.
While this probably was the largest stage for a drone show, it isn’t the first time it’s been done. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida was on the forefront of visual programmable drone shows. Over the 2016 holiday season Disney teamed up with Intel to send 300 illuminated drones into the sky over downtown Disney. The coordinated drones formed various holiday icons including Christmas trees, doves, and of course Mickey Mouse.
The result in both the Olympic ceremonies and at Disney was stunning. Huge images taking up the entire sky and moving in a way the makes them feel realistic.
The drones in the ceremonies painted colourful illustrations in the sky, including the Olympic mascot – Soohorang, the white tiger – who came running in above the stadium, cheering on the athletes and creating a heart outline in the sky. The Intel Shooting Star drones also created a volumetric heart, symbolic for gratitude and love towards the Olympic athletes. Along with a Guinness world record-breaking, pre-recorded light show for broadcast at the Opening Ceremony, Intel drones continued entertaining throughout the games with aerial performances during the nightly Victory Ceremonies.
“Just like Soohorang, our Intel drones team has a challenging spirit and passion to push the limits and make amazing experiences possible,” Natalie Cheung, the general manager for Intel’s drone light show team, said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to celebrate such magnificent athleticism and teamwork with Intel drone light shows, and a victory for us to see our animations of the games come to life.”
Those same drones also created images of Olympic sports and athletes — skiers, snowboarders, curlers, and more — to celebrate the medalists high over the medal plaza, Intel announced. But all did not go so smoothly for the drones during the Olympics—a planned extravagant live display during the Opening Ceremony was canceled because of logistical issues, potentially including a hack of Olympics-related technology.
Nevertheless, the Shooting Star drones provided fans and athletes with a sight to behold before they left PyeongChang.