Omega has been timing Olympics since 1932. (ATR)
(ATR) Olympic timing sponsor Omega is ready to roll in Buenos Aires.
The venerable brand is deploying 80 tons of gear and a staff of 250 to handle the scoring and timing requirements of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Alain Zobrist, CEO of Omega Timing, tells Around the Rings that even though these competitors are the youngest under the Olympic flag, the technology provided is the same as for the Olympic Games.
“Young athletes have the same chance, the same equipment as senior Olympic athletes. There is no difference,” he says.
Zobrist says the performance of Omega at the Olympics is a big responsibility.
“Omega has been part of the Olympic Games from 1932, it’s part of a heritage, part of a history, part of a DNA. The fact of being official timekeeper gives us a very special role, makes us a partner, not simply a sponsor.
“We are not allowed to mistakes. The value of timekeeping in the end are the same as for us in producing watches. It is about accuracy, precision and attention to detail,” he continued.
Zobrist says the team in Buenos Aires is about half the size for Rio de Janeiro, where 480 timekeepers
Omega Timing CEO Alain Zobrist. (ATR)
and 450 tons of equipment was needed.
While there are fewer sports than the Olympic Games, the 2018 YOG presents some new events for the Olympics and Omega.
“New sports, such as breaking, roller skating, sport climbing are an additional challenge because all the sports require individual solutions in terms of technology, according the rules of that sport.
“It is an additional challenge that we would like to tackle and see the great revolution of technology in those sports.
“Roller skating as well. We deploy different technologies. There are sensors that every athlete is wearing that provide information of the performance, including the photo finish camera. There is the same as in athletics for roller sports at finish line.”
Zobrist tells ATR that preparations for Tokyo are moving forward.
“We already have had a team in Tokyo for one year now that is preparing for the operations. We start test events next year. We are going to be in Tokyo more and more with the team to deploy solutions until the Games. It’s two years to go,” he says.
“Time flies,” Zobrist observes.
He should know.
Coverage of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games is made possible in part by BA 2018
Reported by Ed Hula.
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