Olympics 2032 Seven Moments

Seven Moments
Seven Moments | © DOON 東

View the 2032 Olympics in seven key moments and ponder the dark irony of the shaping force of technology.

Young Sun had completed his twenty-ninth turn in the swimming pool, and Alejandro, the Chilean contestant presently in second place, was still swimming in his direction in the neighbouring lane. There were 50 metres left in the final of the 1500 metre Freestyle race, and Young Sun had a lead of at least five seconds. But he didn’t let up at all: rather, he began swimming even more energetically, because the golden line representing the world record, projected on the water with a laser, was not far ahead of him. This technology was appearing for the first time in the 2032 Olympics. History was participating in the present competition in a real way.

The robot delegation assigned a cyborg to participate in the Olympics Tennis competition for the first time, and he had a chance to win a gold medal. Created with 3D printing technology and inorganic materials, the cyborg, R2DII, had destroyed the competition on its way to the Men’s Tennis final. His central processing unit could analyse the speed and angle of the ball in one three-hundredths of a second and plan a precise and deadly return shot based on his opponent’s characteristics. In fact, he won the final, 6-0, 6-1, obliterating the top-ranked human player in the world (the sole lost game was a result of strategic "comforting of the opponent"). But R2DII’s designers forgot one important matter: because he lacked a urination process module, he could not pass the post-match urine test, so the gold medal was given to his opponent.

He was not a security guard, but at that moment, he was staring resolutely at sixteen screens. They did indeed resemble surveillance videos: everything was happening simultaneously on the sixteen displays, which showed different views of the same moment. This was the system for television relay viewing of the 2032 Olympics Soccer tournament. Like a multi-screen art installation, the views from sixteen different relay cameras were collocated on the television wall. The boom shot was good for showing team tactics, whereas the tracking shot following the last defender could easily be used to determine an “offsides” call. There were also reaction cameras on the coaches and the VIP platform, and the dedicated slow-motion replay screen, which seemed to be constantly wallowing in its memories. He watched all of it at once. His favourite was the angle from inside the net: each time a goal was scored, its climactic shaking seemed to confirm that all the prior waiting was building to this moment.

Great controversy surrounded the first-ever Olympics Skyscraper Tightrope competition: the French tightrope walker, Philippe Grand, had a large lead and was close to the finish when he suddenly stopped in his tracks. He pulled aniPhone 12s and a custom-designed phone clip from his pocket, affixed it on the tightrope, and started taking selfies. Even after he had posted three Instagram pics, nobody had passed him, and finally, he crossed the finish line at a leisurely pace. The four judges all agreed that the result was valid, because the rules for the Tightrope event did not prohibit athletes from using their phones; however, public opinion universally criticised the behaviour of this disrespectful contestant.

The Freestyle Gymnastics competition of the 2032 Olympics was held in a 10-cubic-metre room, illuminated with silver lighting, in the space venue. In the zero-gravity conditions, the rolls and gyrations of the astronauts unfolded in graceful slow-motion. The Russian astronaut’s performance was titled “Poem of the Body”, and he used his own body to spell out words in Cyrillic script. Unfortunately, most of the judges did not understand Russian. The absurd thing was, a British astronaut won the gold with a performance of the same name (“Poem of the Body” had a difficulty coefficient of 3.3, which was the highest such rating of any freestyle space gymnastics routine at the time). He parodied Oscar Wilde’s famous words, “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”, instead spelling out, “we are all in space, and some of us are still floating upward”.

Live Virtual Reality (LVR) technology was widely used in the 2032 Olympics. Audiences donned LVR glasses in order to experience the Olympics from all-new angles: watching swimming from underwater; watching high jumpers landing from the perspective of the mat; and the bizarre “subject angle” from within the water polo ball, which was now transparent and implanted with a tiny LVR camera. The same technology was used for diving, for which tiny LVR cameras were installed in the tips of the athletes’ swim caps. LVR glasses also had robust information look-up functions. All one had to do was use the customised handle to virtually poke an athlete, and then live statistics and historical information would appear on the display.

The most interesting and surprising moment of the 2032 Olympic Games came at the torch-lighting ceremony at noon of the first day. Like the latest new event, Tightrope Walking, the torch-lighting ceremony was a reflection of the times: technology had universally entered everyday life, but people paradoxically demanded high standards of “realism” and “authenticity”. Twelve torchbearers, clad in futuristic, mirrored costumes (their entire bodies, other than their eyes, were covered with mirrors), stood in a circle on the dais. Then a massive, cylindrical block of ice slowly rose from the floor. The torchbearers lifted their torches and gradually melted away the ice into the shape of a lens. The lens magnified the light of the sun and kindled a burning flame beneath it; then the ice melted away and disappeared completely. Thus began the 2032 Olympics.