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EU Athletics Indoor Championships Opening Ceremony

JAD People
  • Client StarWorks production
  • Date 03-03-2015

Opening ceremonies for athletic events are usually stadium-fillers and the pride of any major sporting event, and as such they are watched closely by fans worldwide.
After 37 years a major athletics championship came back to Prague, and our job was to prepare the opening ceremony to celebrate its return to the heart of Europe. The objective was set to create a symbolic and memorable spectacle to hype up the audience before the games.
The unique factor in this event was that all of the props were custom-made for the event, so they match the creative concept perfectly. Naturally, all other effects, such as animations for the LED projections and light design, were also created just for the event.


The idea – celebrate the history of athletics and the beauty of the human body and spirit. The ceremony started with “Birth of the Titans.” As the goddess arrives, the torches are being lit on set and among the crowd. Followed by the light show and thunder, the rock begins to crack and sculptures come to life, hinting at upcoming athletic disciplines. Thus the creation of the human, the center of the next act. The legendary DaVinci symbol, the Vitruvian Man, rolls onto the set in a ring. We video-mapped the blood stream onto naked bodies, focusing on the beating heart to show the perfection of human physiology. Animation symbolizing both body and the location of the event: Prague, the Heart of Europe. The acrobats then broke into the demonstration of flexibility and control. The “Generation” show ended the voyage through athletic history with performers “passing the torch” on to children. As the ceremony came to a close, we projected national flags on 700m2 of silk cloth, accompanied by aerialists in matching colors.


The 52 284 spectators that attended the championships in person and millions of fans reached by 28 international broadcasters. More than 60 performers appeared on the stage of championship during the 15-minute show,. The whole process of making from idea to execution took more than 2 months, but the trainings of performers went only for 2 weeks. After the acts all of decorations and props had to be removed from the stage in synchronized and hasty manner, creating act of its own. since the main athletic event, was taking place right where the show was happening. Everything was planned to the last minute and the whole crew attending the set was about 100 men.
The opening ceremony was received well by the audience, as well as the client. Since the goal wasn’t commercial, we aimed to create memorable and symbolical act, tying Czechs and Prague with international athletics community, so they will return happily to Czech Republic in upcoming championships.