Los Angeles
1932 1984
Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1936
Berlin
1936
St. Moritz
1948
London
1948 2012
Helsinki
1952
Cortina d'Ampezzo
1956
Melbourne
1956
Rome
1960
Innsbruck
1964 1976
Grenoble
1968
Mexico City
1968
Montreal
1976
Lake Placid
1980
Moscow
1980
Sarajevo
1984
Calgary
1988
Seoul
1988
Albertville
1992
Atlanta
1996
Sydney
2000
Athens
2004
Turin
2006
Beijing
2008
Vancouver
2010
Sochi
2014
Rio
2016

Atlanta 1996

The Global Positioning System (GPS) was one of 20 innovations that Swatch brought to the 1996 Olympic Games. GPS was used in the sailing regattas in Savannah to plot the position of every individual boat in time and space in a simple and comprehensible way. GPS establishes the position of any object, based on triangulation from radio antennae which emit radio waves.

TECHNOLOGY

Donovan Bailey: maintaining speed for longest

The high tech scanner known as Scan-O-Vision now worked in colour, while timekeeping, data analysis and a main server were linked together in a global concept for the first time. Now under the name Swatch Timing, 20 innovations were introduced. The Centenary Games in Atlanta broke the magical figure of 10,000 athletes (10,318 to be precise) for the first time, while records were also broken on the technical side: 196 engineers and technicians brought 100 tonnes of equipment from Switzerland. In athletics, acceleration and running speed were measured in the sprint competitions. Timekeepers sitting behind the starting blocks pointed an electronic eye with a laser beam at the numbers worn on the sprinters’ backs. The values measured were converted into graphs, broadcast by a transmitter and stored for further statistical analysis.

The figures showed that Olympic champion Donovan Bailey (born 16 December 1967) had the greatest acceleration, the highest speed over 30 m and was by far the quickest over the final 20 m, i.e. his speed dropped the least during that final section of the race. The result: 9.84 seconds. Leroy Burrell’s world record had been broken by 0.01 seconds, despite a reaction time of 0.174 seconds. The last man out of the starting blocks crossed the finish line first. It was not unusual for Bailey. “My acceleration phase was good. I thought to myself: If you stay relaxed after the 70 m mark, it’s yours. I never thought about the world record,” explained the winner.

Eight years after Ben Johnson’s disqualification for doping, Canada was therefore able to celebrate its second 100 m Olympic champion, following in the footsteps of Percy Williams (1928).

1992 Olympic champion Linford Christie was disqualified in this final after two false starts. Before he left the track, Christie, who like Bailey was born in Jamaica, angrily threw his spikes into a rubbish bin after lengthy discussions with the starter. Then aged 36, the British athlete had bad memories of the OMEGA time keepers. Barely a year earlier, he had failed to win the Golden Four Jackpot at the last hurdle in Berlin, beaten by 1/1000th of a second by Bailey. Both athletes were awarded the same time of 10.10 in the final placings. Christie visited the timekeepers’ room in order to see the finish-line photo and accepted the verdict. “It is my most expensive memory,” he said. He lost 4 kg of gold, worth around DM 70,000 (CHF 60,000 under the exchange rate at the time), because of one lousy thousandth of a second.

ANECDOTE

Last athlete's time recorded by telephone

Abdul Baser Wasiki had travelled from Afghanistan to take part in the Olympic marathon. His personal best of just over two and a half hours was nothing to write home about and, to make matters worse, he was injured. However, he was determined not to miss his Olympic adventure and trotted along at the back of the field of 124 runners. It was the final day of the Olympic Games, the stadium had to be prepared for the closing ceremony and the running track needed to be covered. what could they do? It was decided that Wasiki should be diverted into the warm-up stadium adjacent to the Olympic stadium.

After Somalian Abdi Isak (2:59.55) had completed the race, the timekeepers therefore moved into the warm-up stadium to wait for Wasiki. But he never arrived. Since nobody had apparently relayed the decision to the escort vehicle and the runner himself, he ran to the Olympic stadium. A narrow strip of track was hastily cleared for him and his time was recorded over the telephone.

An accurate time was no longer crucial. Wasiki’s time of 4:24.17 put him 111th in the results list. He took almost twice as long to complete the race as the Olympic champion,Josia Thugwane (RSA, 2:12.36).


close

Language

twitter,facebook,googleplus,linkedin en-US
close