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Olympic turnaround by Michael Payne

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8. Making IT happen

The elephant stumbles

Over the years, the Olympics Games have become an important global showcase for new technology. In 1984, the Los Angeles Games introduced e-mail to a wider world. Back in 1964, Seiko’s Quartz timing system debuted at the Tokyo Games; and Matsushita used the Seoul Games in 1988 to break into the professional broadcast market.

For technology companies, the Games offer a unique platform – a world stage to demonstrate state-of-the-art technological sophistication and vision. Abby Kohnstamm, IBM’s head of marketing, described “the Olympic Games as the ultimate showcase of technology”.

The technology is not decorative. World records require accuracy and reliability, otherwise their entire credibility is undermined. ...

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