Sport Desk: The Olympic 2016 summer games which began on August 5 in Rio; with medals already being awarded to its participants;is fully in play now. Omega being the official timekeeper of the events; for pretty much most of the Olympic games since 1932; has a lot on stake when it comes to delivering the best equipment necessary for timing the games. While the Omega watches made by the company are popular amongst many as luxury timepieces; for the Olympics 2016 the watchmaker need to ensure that all its timing equipment, scanners, cameras, touch pads and so on deliver the best in determining the winners of the 41 Olympic sports being timed at Rio 2016 unfailing precision. Omega and Olympics both well renowned, the brand need to be extra careful in its role to evolve the timing of the events and make sure the Gold, Silver and Bronze go to the right winners.
How it all began?
While Omega watchesare luxury timepieces which can also be bought online today in India from well known retail stores like Zimson; the brand dates back to La Generale Watch Co, (forerunner of Omega) which was founded at, Switzerland in 1848. The brand however became the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games in 1932 at Los Angeles; and this year marks its28th timeas the timekeeper of the game.
From then to now
The first time the brand only used one timekeeper and 30 chronographs that could capture results to the nearest 1/10th of a second. From then to now it has come a long way; by introducing new equipments such as the world’s first photo finish camera at the 1948 London Games that helped determine the winner of two athletes who clocked the same 10.3 seconds in the 100 meter final. This year at Rio 2016; Omega has sent 480 professional timekeepers, as well as 450 tonnes of equipment plus 200 kilometres of cable.
Research & effort to offer the best
The Olympics Official Timekeeper cannot afford to cut corners while doing their research. Omega makes regular heavy investment into research and development to be able to provide futuristic equipments, sensors, electronic starting pistols, detection devices, touch-pads in pools and so on. The brand also needs to be a part of the designing of the venues, room sizes, locations, cabling and so on. The timekeepers go the Olympics venue much before the games begin andthen again the final time when the events are to take place. They need go earlier to test the events and ensure the equipments will perform with 100% accuracy during the events; as even one mistake is completely unacceptable.
At Rio 2016
This year Omega introduced the underwater lap counters that allow distance swimmers to read information on the bottom of the pool, rather than looking up at any point during their race. The brand also has made a four-cell Photocell Technology system; that can detectbody stance and movements for use in determining track winners. For calculating the arrow distance, the new Archery Targeting System can calculate the distance from the center point with an accuracy of 0.2mm.
Finally Omega’s Last-Lap bells whose major portion has been made by hand at a foundry in Switzerland, (all 21 of them), will be played when the last lap begins in track, cycling and biking events. So even though the bell doesn’t contribute to timing any event; it kind of signals the athletes to compete harder for the Gold and also reminds you of the history and spirit of the game; as the concept goes way back to time when the Olympics started out in ancient Greek.
With improvements each year most wonder how the games were even played earlier without these advances. Precision and accuracy in timekeeping makes the game fair and the athletes and judges can rest assured that the right player is actually winning. In years to come many more advances and futuristic equipments are expected to be utilized during the games; which we are eager to see.