As the world (including India for the first time, thanks to ESPN) watched
with rapt attention athletes competing in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) for
the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, 2,000 IT professionals from more than thirty
countries were stationed at the competition venues and behind the scenes to
monitor various technology systems and applications. While ATOS Origin was
designated as the official IT partner for the games, more than 1,00,000 hours of
testing was completed prior to the games to ensure that the technology that made
the Olympics tick will run without a bobble. The games IT budget was $343 mn,
but 75% of that cost was defrayed through these partners in exchange for
sponsorship and marketing rights.
The Vancouver Technology Operations Center was sort of a IT hub for the
Winter Olympics this time. It was a 5,000 square-foot facility that Ward Chapin,
CIO, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics compared to a NASA command center, complete
with big screens that monitored the events live with seats for about 130 people.
The games-time IT that was operated and managed from the Technology Operations
Center was made up of thirteen systems that worked together to ensure smooth
operations, while protecting the information from internal and external threats.
This infrastructure included 800 servers, 6,000 computers and 4,000 printers.
The Vancouver Technology Operations Center was a 5,000
square-foot facility that Ward Chapin, CIO, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
compared to a NASA command center
In the Integration Test (IT) Labs, staffers tested critical information
systems that supported both the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games. The on-venue results system and other supporting services such as
information security and software distribution were all tested at the labs prior
to the games to ensure the IT systems were functional and reliable. Each Olympic
sport got one dedicated IT Lab.
Games-time involved fifteen different systems all working together to provide
a seamless experience for 3,000 athletes, 25,000 volunteers and 10,000
Organizers of the Winter Olympics were at the forefront of green
technology. Buses were built by New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg and operated
on fuel cells provided by Ballard Power Systems, with hydrogen storage provided
by Dynetek Industries in Calgary. The hybrid drive system came from San Diegos
ISE Corporation. Each low floor bus had the capacity to carry sixty people and a
top speed of about 55 mph. The buses were twice as efficient as diesel powered
counterparts and had zero tailpipe emissions. BC Transits new $89.5 mn Whistler
Transit Center offered the worlds largest hydrogen refueling station.