OMEGA marks the final countdown to Buenos Aires 2018
With 120 days to go until the Opening Ceremony, on Thursday OMEGA, the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games for the past 86 years, unveiled the countdown clock for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The unveiling ceremony, which was held near the iconic Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires, was attended by Felipe Miguel, Chief of Cabinet Ministers for the City of Buenos Aires; Gerardo Werthein, an IOC Member and President of the Argentine Olympic Committee and the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee; and Alain Zobrist, CEO of Swiss Timing, among other guests.
"In 120 days, the world will witness a fantastic sports celebration, which will showcase the power of youth and the Olympic spirit. We are very grateful to OMEGA, a long-time worldwide Olympic Games partner and an exceptional timekeeper. We'd like to thank them for supporting us on this journey,” said Werthein. On 6 October, the Obelisk will be the epicentre for the opening of Buenos Aires 2018 in an outdoor ceremony that will capture the whole planet’s attention.
The OMEGA countdown clock, which stands six metres high, was inspired by the Floralis Generica, a metal sculpture in Buenos Aires that was also used as a source of inspiration for the emblem of the Youth Olympic Games, which will take place from 6 to 18 October in the Argentine capital.
“In Buenos Aires, we pride ourselves on doing things well; and I can tell you that these young athletes will have a wonderful time here and will feel right at home," said Miguel during his speech.
After the countdown clock was activated, Zobrist presented the guests with OMEGA last-lap bells used to signal the final lap in track events.
The bells are handmade in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss Jura mountains. Still in use alongside OMEGA’s state-of-the art timekeeping equipment, they represent a tradition unchanged for centuries.
This will be the 29th time OMEGA has taken on the challenge of being the official timekeeper at the Olympic Games, in this case the Youth Olympic Games. The first occasion was at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.