Beijing Olympic 2008
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, People's Republic of China, from August 8 (except football, which started on August to August 24, 2008. A total of 10,500 athletes competed in 302 events in 28 sports, one event more than was on the schedule of the 2004 Games.The 2008 Beijing Olympics marked the first occasion that either the Summer or Winter Games were hosted in China, making it the 22nd nation to do so. It also became the third time that Olympic events have been held in the territories of two different National Olympic Committees (NOC), as the equestrian events were being held in Hong Kong (the other two instances being the 1956 games, where the equestrian events were hosted in Stockholm, Sweden, due to strict Australian quarantine rules, and the other events were hosted in Melbourne, Australia; and the 1920 games which were hosted in Antwerp, Belgium, but the final two races of the 12ft dinghy event in sailing were held in The Netherlands).
The Olympic Games were awarded to Beijing after an exhaustive ballot of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 13, 2001. The official logo of the Games, titled "Dancing Beijing," features a stylised calligraphic character jing (?, meaning capital), referring to the host city. Several new NOCs have also been recognised by the IOC.
The Chinese government promoted the Games and invested heavily in new facilities and transportation systems.A total of 37 venues were used to host the events including 12 newly constructed venues. At the closing ceremony IOC president Jacques Rogge declared the event a "truly exceptional Games" after earlier asserting that the IOC had "absolutely no regrets" in choosing Beijing to host the 2008 Games.The choice of China as a host country was the subject of criticism by some politicians and NGOs concerned about China's human rights record. China and others, meanwhile, warned against politicizing the Olympics.
The Games saw 43 new world records and 132 new Olympic records set.A record 87 countries won a medal during the Games. Chinese athletes won 51 gold medals altogether, the second largest haul by a national team in a modern, non-boycotted Summer Games.Michael Phelps broke the record for most golds in one Olympics and for most career gold medals for an Olympian. Usain Bolt secured the traditional title "World's Fastest Man" by setting new world records in the 100m and 200m dashes.
ICT at the Olympics
Thanks to ICT, athletes and sponsors are seamlessly sharing the winning stages in the Olympic Games and are overwhelming the eyes, ears and full attention of attendees and billions of viewers around the world. Three major technology sponsors offered significant contributions to the August 2008 Olympics: Atos Origin, Samsung, and Lenovo. Atos Origin integrated, managed and secured the widest ICT system for relay events, results and athlete information to spectators and media around the world. Atos accomplished this by mobilizing a team of 4000 ICT experts to provide solutions around the clock.
The opening ceremony was a memorable one, with directors of the opening ceremony employing high technologies to conjure a magic, dreamlike start of the 29th Summer Olympics. Five thousand years of Chinese history flowed on a huge scroll that unrolled to chapters of China's 5,000-year civilization. "Whales" swam in the tank-like inner walls of the stadium. Human beings roamed on an elevating "globe", and dancers dressed in bright costumes formed a brightly-lit "Bird's Nest". Throughout the performances, high technology went hand in glove with traditional Chinese culture: performance of the movable type printing, one of the four great inventions of ancient China, took an image of both ancient Chinese character case and modern computer keyboard; fairies fell from the sky, costumes glowing with light, to represent "Apsaras", an image in the mural paintings of Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang in northwest China's Gansu Province.
For the first time ever in Olympic openings, Beijing used a technical monitoring system for program control of more than 18,000 performers through their identification codes. 1
Samsung managed the Game's wireless technology, enabling athletes to share their unique participation experience with family and friends around the world through the Wireless Olympic Works (WOW) platform. The Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung Pavilion showcased the latest in wireless technology and live entertainment. The Olympic Torch Relay's modern design was shared between Samsung and Lenovo. Lenovo, the only Chinese top partner and the largest manufacturer of PCs, provided 10,000 units of computing equipment along with 500 engineers to assist in delivering data and results for more than 300 events to anxious audiences and media players.
There was more impact on ICT also from the advent of the Beijing 2008 olympics, such as the tightening of Internet security:
"China has only continued to tighten censorship of the Internet as the Olympics draw near, not loosen up as expected. That's the conclusion of activists who monitor the state of censorship in China. They say that a number of China-related that events, such as the unrest in Tibet and the recent earthquakes, have caused authorities to clamp down even further on what can be published online within the country, and what information can be accessed by citizens."
There is cause for concern and reasons are not unfounded as a high-profile attack on Chinese computer systems during the Beijing Olympics would be a serious blow to organizers and the government, which has worked hard to position the Games as a celebration of the economic and social strides made by China since embarking on reforms 30 years ago. The urgency of tighter network security for the Olympic Games was highlighted at a recent conference in the southern city of Shenzhen, jointly organized by CNCERT, the Internet Association of China, and China's Working Committee on Information Security, where Xi Guohua, a vice minister at the Ministry of Information Industry, called on participants to spare no effort to boost network security in China ahead of the Games.
Among moves the Chinese government has taken to tighten network security during the Olympics, it created a special response team in Beijing that will monitor systems for signs of attacks and then respond if one is detected. The response team's job won't be easy. The prevalence of malware in China means maintaining network security during the Olympics will be a significant challenge.
Sources and related links
1 Full story on opening ceremony - http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-08/09/content_9067144.htm
2 China fears hacking at Games - http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php/id;1924884527;fp;2;fpid;1