The Crowning Moment of the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony: Anthony Howe and His Vision of the Sun

Anthony Howe's Olympic sun

In some respects, it’s now de riguer for the Olympic opening ceremonies to feature a moment of amazement, sparing no expense. Think London and Beijing.

When Brazil was selected by the IOC as the host of the 2016 Games, this nation was the star economy of a rising continent – Latin America. But today, stuck in the throes of its worst economy in decades, Brazil was required to do more with less. These were the Gambiarra Games after all.

And so when Vanderlei de Lima lit the cauldron at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony, many were probably wondering: “That cauldron is golden and shiny and all that, but it’s kinda small, ain’t it?” That’s what I thought, my expectations being Olympian. But as the cauldron rose on four thin wires into the dark blue Brazilian evening, you could see it was only the centerpiece to a grander tableau.

How do I describe it, except clinically – dozens, if not hundreds of metal rod connected to a central ring or set of rings that turn, the rods speckled with metals balls and circular plates designed to reflect the light of the cauldron flames, swirling in a golden explosion of light. Yes, that was spectacular.

The man who created this masterpiece is Anthony Howe, a kinetic sculptor, who lives 2 hours away from Seattle, on Orcas Island.

“My vision was to replicate the sun, using movement to mimic its pulsing energy and reflection of light,” said Anthony Howe in this press release. “I hope what people take away from the cauldron, the Opening Ceremonies, and the Rio Games themselves is that there are no limits to what a human being can accomplish.”

His sculptures are mesmerizing – you can get lost in the perpetual movement of his wind-driven creations. Tremendous foresight went into this by the designers of this opening ceremony in selecting this concept and this artist….evidence that plenty of good planning has gone into these 2016 Rio Olympics.

For more information on Anthony Howe, go to this link. Below are a few examples of his work.