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Standards Carry the Torch for 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Today marks the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. Athletes and their fans from all across the globe will gather for the event - and standards will make the opening ceremony a safe and memorable occasion for all.

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.

Olympic Standards Set the Pace for Safety

Announcing a Series of ANSI Media Tips on the Winter Olympics

From alpine skiing to speed skating, standards play a role in every sport in the Olympic Games. Over the next two weeks, ANSI will highlight Winter 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.

Performances at the opening ceremony will focus on Canadian and Aboriginal culture, bringing the music and dance traditional to this region to viewers around the world. The songs and background music for these performances will be broadcast to the audience over a high-quality sound system. A series of standards from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) assure that sound systems the world over can support large-scale events like the 2010 opening ceremony:

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


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]