Technology is pretty awesome! Simply put. We live in an era where the technological advances made these days are plenty and close between. The past 10-15 years it seems technology has really taken off. 16 years ago was the last time the US hosted the games – Atlanta ’96 I had just finished highschool and I can still remember my parents bought our first computer and I can still hear that horrible dial-up noise which meant I couldn’t use the phone.
I have always loved watching the Olympics. I enjoy the competition, the sportsmanship, the uniforms, colors, graphics – everything! We take for granted how awesome the coverage is and the technology emplored today to bring the Games to your home. Technology can be seen everywhere from the shoes to goggles, uniforms, equipment and the timing down to the fraction of a second. Before digital timing how the heck did anyone know who won these swimming races? Gold is won or lost by the smallest measurement of time.
The last time London hosted the games it was 1948 (also 1908). They were known as the Austerity Games. World War II had ended just three years before and Britain was in financial shambles. This was the first games since the Berlin Games in 1936.
The 2012 London Summer Olympics have been dubbed the first “social media Games” because they are the first Games since the explosion of social media and smartphones. On the Olympic Park, London invested in 30 wifi masts and one of the world’s best wi-fi networks (Vodafone?) for the tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers to churn out millions of photos, tweets, texts and calls without problems. While we scroll through on our tablet or smartphone, 64 years ago people huddled round a radio or read about what had happened in a newspaper the next day.
Alot has changed since London hosted the games last. Here are a few differences:
London Olympics 1948:
• 60 hours broadcast
• £750,000 (1.2 million US Dollars) to stage the Games
• Less than 1 TV per household
• 9 inches the average TV screen size
• 14,500 TVs sold a year
London Olympics 2012:
• 5,000 hours broadcast
• £11bn (17 billion US dollars) to stage the Games
• 3 TVs per household
• 40 inches the average TV screen size
• 10 million TVs sold a year
• In 1948, many people were still listening to the news on utility sets. The transistor radio was not invented until 1947 and was not in common use until the 1950s, so people would have listened on big valve radios that were not portable. This meant people would have crowded around one to listen together
• The ’48 Games were the first to be televised. The BBC paid 1,000 pounds for the broadcast rights, compared to $1.1 billion paid by NBC for these Olympics. But few Britons saw the Games on TV - there were only 88,000 sets in the entire country and the signal didn’t reach far beyond Wembley Stadium.
• There was no Olympic Village in 1948. Athletes were housed in existing facilities. Most of the male athletes were put up in old RAF barracks, while female athletes (there were only 390 of them) lived at various college dormitories.
• Britain was still rationing food and petrol at the time of the Olympics, and athletes were given extra rations to equal that provided to dock workers and miners. British athletes augmented their diet with unrationed whale meat.
FYI, New York City lost out to London for 2012. Chicago lost its bid to host the 2016 games to the eventual winner – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The US did not place a bid for the 2020 games with Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo as the candidate host cities. The US is looking forward to placing bids to host the 2024 games.
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