London, 16 May 2006 – Prestige Swiss watchmaker Omega is delighted to announce its continued partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as Official Timekeeper for the Olympic Games will be extended to include the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Omega will continue to offer the world’s top athletes precise, reliable and comprehensive results.
Omega’s Olympic history dates back to the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, when the company was the first to be given the responsibility for timing all Olympic disciplines. The London 2012 Olympic Games will be the 25th time Omega serves as Official Timekeeper, and the second time at an Olympic Games in London.
When the London 2012 Olympic Games begin, sixty-four years will have passed since the London 1948 Games opened at Wembley Stadium on July 29th of that year. The Olympic Games in London had actually been planned for 1944, but the war had forced their cancellation. A year following the end of the war, London was selected, once again, for the next Olympiad, and Omega was named Official Timekeeper. The London 1948 Olympic Games were the first to be shown on television. London set new records with 59 countries and 4104 athletes competing. Sixty years later, London has been selected a third time to host the Olympic Games. “We are honoured that Omega has chosen London to announce their continued partnership as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012. “Together we made great strides in 1948 and now we look forward to working with Omega through to 2012 where history will be made again. It is these long term partnerships and great moments in time that have made the Olympic and Paralympic Games such an inspirational world event.”
Omega President Stephen Urquhart said, “We are delighted to return to London as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games. London represents a wealth of tradition and a confident vision of the future. We are pleased to bring our own valued traditions and confidence to London 2012 and look forward to helping the city prepare to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
IOC President Jacques Rogge welcomed today’s announcement and Omega’s continued commitment and contribution to the Olympic Movement. “Turin was a magnificent Games, not just for the athletes and the Olympic Movement, but for our partners. Omega’s contribution to the Games was significant – in ensuring accurate and reliable timekeeping”, Rogge said. “Our relationship with Omega goes back to 1932, when the IOC turned to a single company to provide official timekeeping at the Olympic Games. Today, Omega works closely with all our technology partners to provide seamless technology support to the Organising Committee.”
Today’s announcement was made by IOC President Jacques Rogge and Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek at the Omega boutique at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. To celebrate the occasion, Stephen Urquhart presented Sebastian Coe and the 2012 team with an Omega bronze bell used today in a number of Olympic disciplines to signal the start of the final lap of a race, and can be heard in cycling, athletics, biathlon and speed skating competitions.
At the Royal Exchange today, Mr Urquhart also unveiled a poster commemorating the London 1948 Olympic Games, one of a series representing “Great Moments in Time” and marking Omega’s role as Official Timekeeper at 22 Olympic Games. The company most recently served as Official Timekeeper at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and will continue its role at the Beijing 2008 and the Vancouver 2010 Games. Omega has also been named Official Timekeeper of the Paralympic Games to be held in Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012.
For further information, please contact
OMEGA International Press Office, Rue Stämpfli 96, 2504 Bienne, Switzerland
Tel. +41 32 343 9211 Fax +41 32 343 9715
OMEGA UK press enquiries: Sarah Wilson
OMEGA is a company of the Swatch Group
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