Sydney 2000 Closing Ceremony Harbour Spectacular

About the project

The Closing Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games concluded in the Olympic Stadium with the River of Lightning effect, transporting the flame from the burning cauldron across 24 separate firing points located 500 metres apart, down the Parramatta River toward the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

As the last “lightning point“ west of the Harbour Bridge was fired, an RAAF F1-11 performed a “dump and burn” over the Sydney Harbour Bridge which culminated with an initial pyrotechnic display focused on the Harbour Bridge, signifying the arrival of the Olympic Flame into the City.

The Harbour Bridge was selected as the focal point for the Show because of its central location, architectural beauty, iconic status and unbeatable qualifications as a pyrotechnic firing platform. Complementary displays were also staged in conjunction with the Harbour Bridge from four CBD buildings (Grosvenor Place, Regent Hotel, Goldfields House, KPMG Centre), three North Sydney Buildings (The Philip’s Building, Greenwood Plaza, Sharp Building), and Darling Harbour (a barge, Pyrmont Bridge, and IBM and Nestle Towers).

Beneath the Harbour Bridge 10 giant Roman Candles on 10 small boats created a screen of white fire in front of the Bridge, as similar candles on the arch exploded in a magnificent pyrotechnic arch.

The bridge erupts with pyros by Syd Howard Fireworks International.

Following the Opening Harbour Bridge display, the “Olympic Rings of Fire” display was shot from four separate harbour firing points spanning the main Harbour from east to west. Five of the world’s great pyrotechnic companies were engaged to represent each of the continental groupings of Olympic Games founder Baron Pierre de Coubertain’s five Olympic Rings. Each Contractor choreographed their own 3 minute element of the 15-minute display.

To close the performance, the Olympic Rings erected on the Harbour Bridge erupted for 10 seconds and then literally exploded, followed by a firing at each River of Lightning site, and finally two 24 inch shells and two 16 inch shells were fired from the four main platforms.


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Robbie Klaesi


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