The 2010 Olympics is the first to have its opening ceremony held indoors. Both the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as nightly Victory Ceremony presentations, will take place in BC Palace Stadium. This venue is the world's largest air-supported stadium, taking its shape from the use of internal pressurized air to inflate a pliable material, such as fabric, so that air is the main support of the structure. A standard developed by ASTM International, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), addresses the structural fabrics similar to those in air-supported stadiums. ASTM D4851-07, Standard Test Methods for Coated and Laminated Fabrics for Architectural Use, can be used to test most fiber-based, coated, and laminated architectural fabrics.
These standards were developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 100, Audio, video, and multimedia equipment. The chairperson of this committee is Mark Hyman of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer.
Approximately 55,000 people are expected to attend the opening ceremony, and each will want a good view of the festivities. Seating in the BC Palace Stadium will be similar to the seating described by the guidelines in NFPA 102-1995, Standard for Grandstands, Folding and Telescopic Seating, Tents, and Membrane Structures. This American National Standard, developed by NFPA, details the construction, location, and maintenance of many outdoor and indoor seating systems including telescopic seating for gymnasiums, tents and air-supported structures, and grandstands and bleachers similar to the ones being used for a number of Olympic events throughout Vancouver.
With the help of standards for safety and technological development, the 2010 opening ceremony is guaranteed to be a worthy introduction to the world's most renowned athletic competition.
To learn more about standards related to Olympic sporting events, check out ANSI's new series of Media Tips at www.ansi.org/mediatips.