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06 Aug 2008
IOC News , Marketing

Omega counts down to the Olympic Games

Although the countdown to the Summer Games continues to be the big story, something should be said about Omega, the company whose clock is ticking down those seconds, especially since this was the first company ever chosen to provide all of the timing devices and technology for the Games.
450 professional timekeepers
Beijing 2008 marks the 23rd time that Omega will be at the Olympic Games.  More than 450 professional timekeepers and 1,000 volunteers will use more than 420 tons of equipment and 175 metres of cabling to ensure that the timing, scoring, display and distribution of the results are flawlessly executed. 
Gold, silver or bronze
OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart explains why their job is so vital: "We all know that every athlete wants to win a medal for their country. And to win a medal in most disciplines, you have to be faster than your opponents. So I think the timer of the Games is responsible for the difference between a gold medal, a silver medal, a bronze medal or no medal at all, so it's a very, very important role to play."
Omega Pavilion
OMEGA held the grand opening of their Pavilion on Monday afternoon. The event took place on the Olympic Green and was attended by everyone from former Olympic athletes to the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge.
VIPs get the lowdown
After receiving a tour of the facility and trying his hand at watch making, Rogge spoke about the IOC’s 76-year relationship with the Swiss watchmaker saying:“Our partnership began in 1932 with the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and the IOC has since come to rely on the unquestionable competence, enduring commitment and assured performance of its official timekeeper.” Other big names in attendance included two gold medal swimmers, Australian Ian Thorpe and Russia’s Alexander Popov.
A place for everyone
The impressive two-storey Pavilion, which is open every day to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., includes an array of exhibits, a shop and an area for special events. It is also within walking distance of both the National Stadium (a.k.a. “Bird’s Nest”) and the Aquatic Center, two places where OMEGA will play a crucial role. For all of these reasons it’s hard not to believe Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek when he says he thinks the Beijing Games will be among the best ever!
 Learn more on Omega
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