For nearly four years, the giant OMEGA Olympic Countdown Clock in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square ticked down the seconds to the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. At exactly 8 p.m. on the 8th of August, 2008 – 08/08/08 – the Countdown Clock reached zero.
At the same moment, at the National (“Bird’s Nest”) Stadium on the Olympic Green, the dazzling Opening Ceremony began with 90,000 cheering spectators looking on. The audience included more than 100 heads of state, the largest number ever to attend an Olympic Games.
The end of the countdown also signaled to OMEGA’s 450 professional timekeepers and data handlers that it was time for them to take the stage. OMEGA is responsible for the timing of all 302 events in 28 sports at 37 different venues. The Swiss brand’s 420 tonnes of equipment include the many scoreboards and display units used at the Olympic Games.
OMEGA first served as Official Olympic Timekeeper at the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Following the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, Swiss watchmaker will continue its timekeeping activities at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the 2012 Games in London.
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