Sochi XXII Olympics receive Gold in use of latest technology
By Marli Horwitz, MS&T Editor
The 2014 Olympic Winter Games officially came to a close this past Sunday night, and with that came the close of the most technologically advanced games in history. With a total of 33 medals, the home country Russia may have come out on top, but what truly takes the gold is how many minute details of the games have become affected by today’s technology.
There is the obvious– we were all able to watch the thrilling events from all the way over here in the United States. And, if your professors were not willing to cancel class during the events you were dying to see, you could probably catch it via online streaming. In fact, sources say that the 2014 games were the first to be live-streamed entirely through the cloud. NBC Olympic Studios apparently
provided over 1,539 hours of coverage, which is more than the 2006 and 2010 Games combined, and all 98 events were live-streamed. The studios through which you watched coverage were all brand new as well, designed by New Y ork- based ClickSpring with more screen and a more engaging experience in mind.
Lucky enough to be retweeted by your favorite Olympian? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and every other social media website kept viewers around the globe closer to the action than ever before. Athletes shared their experiences from the slopes, the rink and of course Olympic Village, reaching family and friends back home within seconds.
And that is only the half of it — technological advancement is one thing for the world-audience, but it is affecting Olympians themselves in new ways
too. Advancements in time keeping allowed scores to be calculated to the one- millionth of a second, putting a serious edge to the difference between Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Omega, the official timekeeper of the games, reported to BBC that it would “measure more than 650,000 distances, times and scores during the Games, using 230 tonnes of timekeeping, scoring and data-handling equipment.”
Training is everything, but athletes need the best machinery too, for those events that necessitate it. British athletes in the bobsleigh, for example, had a leg up this Games in using a sleigh in part designed by BAE Systems, which also designs fighter jets. BAE let the team do aerodynamic tests in its wind tunnel. It is no surprise BBC called this Games the “most technologically complex and data intensive ever.”