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

Turin 2006

The quantity of staff and equipment used by OMEGA in Turin for its 22nd Olympic Games as the Official Timekeeper was similar to that used at the Olympic Games in Sydney six years earlier.

TECHNOLOGY

Return to historical role of Official Timekeeper

The 20th Olympic Winter Games in Turin marked the return of OMEGA to its historical role as Official Timekeeper. Seventy years after its winter debut in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with one watchmaker and 27 stopwatches, 220 tonnes of highly sophisticated equipment was driven by lorry from Biel and Corgémont to Piedmont, where 206 sports timekeeping experts, with qualifications in information technology and electronics, and 133 voluntary helpers were employed at 14 different competition venues. In the Galeria San Federico, in the historic city centre, a small exhibition was held in order to inform the public about the rapid development of timekeeping from its origins to the present day. Hundreds of thousands of people visited the OMEGA pavilion with its boutique, exhibition and lounge, in order to view the displays.

One particular attraction was the OMEGA four-man bob, which was photographed more than 60,000 times with a whole range of different crews on board! The number of people who descended on the Galeria San Federico on the day of actress Cindy Crawford’s visit was frightening.

With 2,508 participants, including 960 women, 80 NOCs and 84 competitions, the 2006 Winter Games broke records in every respect.

In 1936, when there was no television coverage and the Games did not last three weekends, a modest 646 athletes representing 28 NOCs had competed in 17 events. Only the crowd figure of 543,155 spectators in Garmisch-Partenkirchen stood any comparison to Turin. The technicians in Corgémont had been preparing for the Games for three years. Developing new software, such as for the figure skating events with their new scoring system, was a particular challenge. All 100 scoreboards were electronically operated for the first time in Turin.

During the 16 days of competition, 105,510 times, 2,582 distances and 10,891 speeds were measured, as well as 72,122 scores. In other words, the timekeepers had a job to do every four seconds. There was not a single hitch.

ANECDOTE

Spectacular Olympic debut for boardercross

It was a special piece of theatre that was witnessed by the spectators in the fully occupied stands in Bardonecchia. World champion Lindsey Jacobellis appeared to be heading towards a convincing victory in the snowboard cross when, in her penultimate jump, she took hold of her board and attempted a “backside grab”. The “showstopper”, as the Americans call it, was her undoing. She fell, Tanja Frieden (born 6 February 1976) casually passed her and became the first woman to win this Olympic event. During this eventful final, Canadians Dominique Maltais and Maelle Ricker had already fallen while attempting to overtake Frieden before Jacobellis tumbled. “It is all part of snowboard cross. Luck is part of it. You can be out of it after the very first turn,” said the winner when she was asked how it felt to win an Olympic event under such circumstances.

Nevertheless, the outcome of the final was not a particular cause of sadness for the Americans. At the finish, Seth Wescott (born 28 June 1976) seemed to kiss his girlfriend Tanja Frieden for an eternity. The day before, he had defied all the efforts of Slovakian Radoslav Zidek and won the men’s gold medal by a short margin. This Swiss/American snowboard cross relationship was the story of the Olympic Winter Games for the American “Sports Illustrated”. A story, however, which was rather short-lived. The joint marketing of the man called the “nomad from Maine” on his website and the ambitious woman from the Bernese Oberland, who loved the good things in life, came to nothing.

Of the six disciplines that had been added to the Olympic Winter Games programme since Salt Lake City in 2002, the snowboard cross competitions provided the greatest spectacle with all the pushing, shoving and falling. They were also the most popular with the public. In Bardonecchia, the male and female snowboarders began with in dividually timed descents, after which groups of four were formed. The first two in each heat qualified for the next round.

The finalists’ stamina was tested as the men had to complete the 955 m course, which included 12 sharp bends and jumps, six times and the women four times in a single day.


close

Language

twitter,facebook,googleplus,linkedin en-US
close