For the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, one of Omega’s highly skilled watchmakers made the long journey by boat and train from Switzerland to the west coast of America. His travels were made more complex by the fact that his luggage contained 30 split second chronographs, the devices needed to time the athletes at the event..
‘It is impossible to contemplate the wonderfully successful Games,’ wrote William Henry, the Technical Director of that LA Games, ‘without recognising the part played by Omega in this great international event’. Four years later, it was Omega’s chronographs which recorded Jesse Owens iconic victory in Berlin. We were there in 2012 as Usain Bolt electrified us in the 100 metres at the London Games.
And this summer in Rio, Omega will be there again, as they have been for every Olympic Games since 1932. The aim is the same, to ensure that the greatest athletes in the world get the support they deserve. But this time the luggage cases will be somewhat larger: 450 tonnes of cutting edge equipment will be shipped to Rio and used by 480 official Omega timekeepers, a crack team of specially trained engineers.
Yet in many ways the job is the same. We are still measuring the performance of the world’s greatest sports stars, and the units of time have not changed since 1932. A second is still a second. But the way we measure it continues to undergo a revolution: Omega is at the vanguard of this technological innovation and the Olympic Games are the perfect showcase to demonstrate this fact.
This obsession with technological innovation is why we partner with the Ladies European Tour, whose players will be so well represented when golf returns to the Games this summer.
It is not enough to just record the results. Our role is to help the sport engage with its audience in new and exciting ways. Omega’s technology will power the scoring systems, using the mass of data we collect to tell stories in real time that excite golf’s existing audiences around the world and help educate the many millions who will be encountering the game for the first time.
The talented and tech hungry players of the LET will line up in Rio, having spent a lifetime in preparation. They expect great things of themselves and we will ensure that their story is told.