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Standards Help to Make Olympics Opening Ceremony Unforgettable

New York, Aug 08, 2008

Today marks the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Fans from across the globe will gather in the “Bird’s Nest,” a popular nickname for the Beijing National Stadium, to celebrate the start of the Games – and standards will make the opening ceremony a safe and memorable occasion for all.

A fireworks show will set a festive atmosphere for the opening ceremony, celebrating a momentous occasion in many athletes’ lives. A beautiful but potentially dangerous form of entertainment, fireworks shows are covered by standards in many nations. In the U.S., trained professionals are guided by an American National Standard from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA 1123-2006, Code for Fireworks Displays, applies to the construction, handling, and use of fireworks intended solely for public display, as well as the general conduct and operation of the display. NFPA is an organizational member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Olympic Standards Set the Pace for Safety

Announcing a New Series of ANSI Media Tips

From archery to wrestling, standards play a role in every sport in the Olympic Games. Over the next two weeks, ANSI will highlight Olympic events and the standards that make them possible in a new series of Media Tips.

Visit to learn how standards help to ensure the safety of athletic competition.

The opening ceremony will also feature performances by singers Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan, pop group A-One, and a troupe of dancers from Taiwan. The songs and background music for these performances will be broadcast to the audience over a high-quality sound system whose development has been guided by international standards. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has developed a series of standards for sound systems, including:

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.

Over 150,000 people are expected to attend the opening ceremony, and each will want a good view of the festivities. Seating in the Bird’s Nest will be stadium-style, 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 found in the Bird’s Nest and other Olympic venues throughout Beijing.

With the help of standards for safety and technological development, the 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

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