FIBT President Ivo Ferriani and NBC commentator John Morgan discuss the Olympic bobsleigh venue, the OMEGA Measurement Unit and the future of monobob.
On 20 February, OMEGA welcomed four important guests to the OMEGA Pavilion in Sochi’s Olympic Park to discuss the OMEGA Measurement Unit introduced at these Olympic Games and the future of monobob. President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) Ivo Ferriani, NBC’s bobsleigh analyst John Morgan, Sports Performance Director of Swiss Sliding Christian Szepessy Steinmann and OMEGA’s Sports Marketing Manager Alain Zobrist were present at the event for a special question-and-answer session with international media.
As FIBT President, Mr Ferriani was involved in the preparations and building of the track at the Sanki Sliding Center in Sochi. Describing his experiences leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, he said: “We prepared these Games as a team. I am proud to have such a fantastic team working with me. We worked very hard for three years and we prepared ourselves very well.”
The OMEGA Measurement Unit
OMEGA was proud to introduce new timekeeping technology, the OMEGA Measurement Unit, on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games forerunners – the bobsleighs that speed down the run to inspect the track before a competition begins. This advanced piece of equipment makes in-run data such as speed, acceleration and G-force, instantly available to commentators and TV spectators.
Before the introduction of this technology it was forbidden for any sort of timekeeping equipment to be placed in or on the bobsleigh. Describing how the FIBT’s rules changed to accommodate the introduction of the new technology, Mr Ferriani said: “When you receive a great idea you must find solutions. When OMEGA came to us with this proposal we right away understood that it was a great jump into the future for our sport. Once again, I thank OMEGA for giving us the fantastic opportunity to jump into the future.”
Mr Morgan explained how the information provided by the OMEGA Measurement Unit enhanced a TV viewer’s experience: “They say [bobsleigh] is a mixture of science and sport. I think this technology is going to bring our sport right to the forefront and support the theory that [bobsleigh] really is the most technologically advanced sport in the Summer or Winter Games.”
He added: “This technology is really going to enhance our sport for the viewer who doesn’t know it like we do. This, to me, is really going to bring the sport into the living rooms of people watching it.”
Mr Szepessy Steinmann explained that his team used the technology to assess their starts. The OMEGA Measurement Unit provides the athletes with facts that help them see what training or techniques have resulted in improved times.
Following a discussion of the OMEGA Measurement Unit, the conversation turned to monobob – a dynamic winter sport ideal for athletes who are new to bobsleigh or would like to train on their own. OMEGA has been a key leader in the innovative project in collaboration with Swiss Sliding and is the title sponsor of the popular new OMEGA Monobob series.
Speaking about the sport’s future and its integration into elite competition on a global scale, Mr Ferriani said: “Following our federation’s motto ‘sliding into the future,’ monobob is the best way to slide into the future.” He added: “I see a bright future for monobob and who knows, maybe one day at the Games we will have an additional medal for [the sport].”
Mr Morgan agreed with Mr Ferriani, “I think this is just another avenue for FIBT to explore and to bring in a younger audience.”
Looking ahead to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Mr Ferriani said: “We will always keep two-man bob and four-man because they are our history…monobob will be the key to develop our sport in new countries.”
OMEGA and bobsleigh
OMEGA’s direct link to bobsleigh can be traced all the way back to the Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 Olympic Winter Games, where the brand served as Official Timekeeper. In addition to its Olympic Winter Games timekeeping activities, OMEGA has, since 2002, provided precise and reliable times and results at events organized by the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT), the sport’s governing body. OMEGA has also been responsible for the development of new timekeeping technologies and has been an active participant in the establishment of the exciting new sport of monobob.
For more information about OMEGA’s involvement in the development of monobob or to learn about the technology the brand has developed, visit this page.
OMEGA and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
OMEGA was the first company to be entrusted with the Official Timekeeping of all the events included in the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games. Our association with the Games has led to more than 80 years of pioneering developments in the field of sports timekeeping and in Sochi we will assume the responsibilities of Official Timekeeper for the 26th time.
Discover OMEGA's role at Sochi 2014 by following this link.
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