This is not your grandfather's winter games. Every Olympic city makes major investments in technology, security and infrastructure in the 21st Century, and the Vancouver Winter Games are no exception. The Olympic Cauldron will be lit on February 12, 2010. And yet, the hard work began immediately after Canada was selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics back in 2004.
Want some examples?
2) Stopping terrorism is essential. One article back in 2005 estimated that the security budget would be about $177 million with a 50-50 split between the federal and provincial governments, but USA Today called actual security spending to be closer to $1 billion . More than 1000 security cameras are in place for the Winter Olympics.
3) Infrastructure development has been important. There are plenty of stories online about the people behind the scenes who make the Olympic Games happen. There are also stories about the technology being used . If you look hard enough, you'll find just about every big IT company is involved in some way. One example is Sun , but AT&T and others are right there as well.
4) The economic development aspects and wider role of the Olympics can be seen in YouTube videos like this one.
5) The role of the city mayors and Vancouver Government overall has been a huge part of this story.
Bottom line, this is big business. Just like the involvement of the South African Government in preparing for the 2010 World Cup in June , the Vancouver Olympic Games required an incredible investment in everything that we do in government technology every day. The difference is the scale, and the number of people watching.
So when you watch that beautiful opening or closing ceremony, when the US Hockey Team is skating to victory or those international downhill skiers fly past your TV screen, remember the technology and security infrastructure that made it all possible.
Let the games begin...