Monday, July 30, 2012

Computers and The Olympics

The 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics  marked the beginning of computer utilization for the Olympics when computers were used to tabulate results. Then, during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo  computers were used for scoring. It is hard to believe, but an Olympic website did not exist until the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Now, computers and the Internet are so much a part of the Olympic experience, that I find myself wishing for MORE computer input when I watch the events on television. I want computer enhanced images that will mark each lane as the swimmers swim. I want some kind of imposed image color-coded halos on the water polo players so I can better tell which team is which. I want the kayak events to use computer tracking to positively indicate if a kayaker has went through a gate. There seems to be so much more.

However, with the sport of boxing, this 2012 Olympics will mark the end of computer scoring. This sport has come to determine that computerized scoring does not benefit their sport. So, obviously, there is not always a place for computers.

Everywhere else at the Olympics, computers play a role. That is why it is amazing to me that NBC, the broadcaster of the Olympics in the United States, does not realize how computerized and tied to the Internet Americans ( and the world) have become. It is unbelievable that NBC would not understand that it is naive to think that Americans do not know the results of events prior to the prime time presentation. Twitter, Facebook, and more are blasting updates to us from various sources. We log-on to retrieve our e-mail, and updates appear on home pages of the servers. Computers are part of our lives, and NBC executives want to bury their heads in the sand and think that we will be taunted with "fake" drama of who wins. Seriously? Not only is it unrealistic, it is not wise. Boxing may have determined that computers do not work well for scoring their events, but with broadcasting, you would need to be teleported back to 1963 (before the use of computers in the Olympics) to think that computers were not in use everywhere. Come into this century, NBC.

If you need a new computer to track the Olympic events, stop by ACS Computer Factory Outlet. AND if you do some looking (on the Internet, of course) you will even be able to find a way to watch the events LIVE on your computer via the BBC broadcast for some true, live, sports action.

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