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

Sydney 2000

In the Olympic year of 2000, OMEGA became the first sports timekeeper to publish real time results on the Internet, at www.omegatiming.com. After extensive tests, the site was officially launched for the 2000 European Swimming Championships in Helsinki.

ANECDOTE

The highly acclaimed solo effort of Eric Moussambani

Everything had become high-tech, even the swimming pools. In the Sydney International Aquatic Centre there were ten lanes, the outer two were left empty, while overflow channels were meant to ensure that the swimmers were not disturbed by even the tiniest wave. Many competed in “shark suits”, the track start began to become popular and the swimmers fought for every 1/100th of a second. However, for Alexander Popov, Gary Hall Jr. and Pieter van den Hoogenband, the big stars of the pool, the situation was rather different to that of numbers 72 to 74 on the list of participants, who had to contest the first of 10 heats.

Karim Bare (NIG) and Farkhod Oripov (TJK) jumped into the water before the start signal sounded: false start. Both were disqualified. They did not understand and the referee had to bring them down from their starting blocks. Eric Moussambani therefore thought the 100 m freestyle was over for him too. But he was allowed to continue and now had to swim alone. Just like training at home in Equatorial Guinea. It was stipulated in the rules.

He covered the first 50 m in 40.97 seconds before his strength began to wane. 12,000 spectators cheered him on wildly on the morning of the fourth day of competition. With his head raised and legs lurching from side to side, he finished the “race” in 1:52.72. He was the slowest freestyle swimmer in Olympic history, which dated back to 1896 – and suddenly he was a star for a while. He was nicknamed “Eric the Eel”, following in the footsteps of 1988 ski jumper “Eddie the Eagle”. His popularity was short-lived.

Africans do not especially like it when one of them is ridiculed. The owner of the 20 m hotel pool in which the 22-year old had learned to swim banned him from using his facilities again. The President of the tiny state in the Gulf of Guinea, whose income is largely generated through its oil reserves, promised to have a 50 m pool built. However, Moussambani did not make it to Athens four years later, allegedly due to visa problems. The 100 m freestyle in Sydney was won by Dutchman Van den Hoogenband, who set a new world record of 47.84 seconds in the semi-finals.

TECHNOLOGY

Real time results on the internet for the first time

The results appeared 15 seconds after the winner hit the touch pad and a PDF printout was available 55 seconds later. For legal reasons, the results at that year’s Olympic Games could not be published until 30 minutes after the end of each event. In the swimming-mad country of Australia, the events at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre were a highlight of Olympic Games which were generally watched with exuberant enthusiasm, although the record number of spectators in Atlanta (8,610,984) was not quite reached. Nevertheless, a record number of participants (10,651), including 4,069 women (more than ever before), took part in a record 35 sports in the second edition of the Games to be held on the fifth continent. For the sake of comparison: 3,155 athletes competed in 16 sports in Melbourne in 1956.


close

Language

twitter,facebook,googleplus,linkedin en-US
close