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Tech for the Gold

By Christian Abe Garcia

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The 2016 Rio Olympics has officially started. And while we mainly focus on watching athletes compete against each other in different sporting events in order to bring home that glorious gold medal for their nation, it is also good to know that there are different tech companies working hand in hand with the Olympic committee.

A lot of these sponsors and partners have been with the Olympics for a long time; but what is truly impressive is the technology brought in by each company to produce a successful worldwide sporting event. Behind the glamour and spectacle, the drama and intrigues , the showcase of color and culture, are the tech companies who meticulously and accurately provide their expertise so that the athletes, fans and audience get the best experience as they tune in to the Olympics.

Here is a list of some tech sponsors, partners, and supporters for the 2016 Rio Olympics and what they exactly do for the benefit of the biggest sporting event in the world.

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Panasonic serves as a provider of audio-visual equipment for the entirety of the event. Equipment includes their latest flat screen TVs at venues, digital video cameras to be used to broadcast the games, and other audio/video gadgets needed for the Rio Olympics. Not everybody can afford to go to Rio to watch the Olympics.  And so, for viewers around the world, through Panasonic’s digital broadcast equipments, Panasonic will be able to bring the excitement of the games to each and every home around the world.

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For over 28 years, Samsung has unceasingly been part of the Olympic games. The company is the Worldwide Olympic Partner for the Wireless Communication Equipment category.   They help bring in digital innovation not only to help athletes and staff members during the event, but to assist the fans as well. They help in terms of user location-based information service.  They provide them with what they need in order to communicate with the officials and the athletes participating in the Olympics. In fact, to enhance experience and communication, just days before the Opening Ceremony, Samsung gave 12,500 Galaxy S7 Edge Olympic Games Limited Edition mobile phones to athletes participating in the Olympics.

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During the London 2012 Olympic Games, Cisco, a renowned IT company, was selected by the IOC to become an official supporter for the Olympic Games.  In this year’s games, Cisco will focus on supplying network and server equipments. Infrastructures like IP routers, mobile broadband equipment and data centers will be provided by Cisco.  This will ensure convenient and efficient tracking and managing of data, records, information and other digital media.

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GE has been a partner of the International Olympic Committee since 2005 and they have renewed sponsorship contract that will last until 2020. GE has been responsible for bringing infrastructure solutions and technology for the Olympic Games since the 2016 Turin Winter Olympics.  These infrastructures include energy generation and distribution systems that supply electricity around the venue; monitoring technology and electronic medical records that give hospitals and clinics proper equipment that they need to monitor the athletes’ health in addition to the audiences that need medical attention.  They are also responsible for the lighting systems, water and sewage treatment and services, equipment and transport management, and many more services during the games. GE seems to have a lot of tasks to manage during the Olympics.  This goes to show the enormous trust the IOC has given to them in order for all Olympic participants to have the best service available for them.

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Time has always been one of the most important aspects for most sports today and Omega has long been an Olympic supporter providing reliable and accurate timing equipment (electronic timing, scoreboard systems, official countdown clocks, etc) and services for the games. As the official Time Keeper for the games, they are tasked to give utmost timed precision to all the sporting events in the Olympics through cutting edge timing equipments, sensors, touch-pads, etc. to make sure of accurate, unquestionable results.

There are other tech companies like Intel, Apple, Kinsa (a health startup company), etc that are somehow part of the Olympics worth mentioning too.  From timing equipments, wifi connections, modern athletic apparel, wearable tech, content providers, social media to smart thermometers, there are so much technology involved in the Rio Olympics.   Apart from athletes, indeed, technology is worthy of a gold too.