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Gallery: Tech behind the Beijing Olympics

Technicians for this summer's 2008 Olympics from Beijing are training for their sport--IT.
By Andy Smith, Contributor on
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Silicon.com has been given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games venues and technology infrastructure. This is the Beijing National Stadium--also known as the "Bird's Nest." It will seat 91,000 during the games and be used for athletics and soccer.

Photo credits: Steve Ranger

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The National Aquatics Center--otherwise known as the "Water Cube" will be used for diving, swimming and synchronized swimming.

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These two giant venues are both located on Beijing's Olympic Green, which is also home to the team charged with making sure the technology underpinning the games runs smoothly.

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This is the systems integration lab, high above the Olympic venues, where the software to run the games is tested. The board lists some of the suppliers involved with the infrastructure for the games.

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Jeremy Hore, chief integrator at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, in the testing lab. Each of the areas behind him is a testing cell dedicated to an application or a sport.

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For example, this one looks after handball. Each testing team includes workers from Atos Origin, the Beijing Olympic organizing committee and other partners such as Omega. The equipment in the cell will go to the venue in the second half of May.

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Here is another view from the testing lab showing some of the applications that will be used--and the Bird's Nest in the background.

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This is the National Indoor Stadium, as seen from above. It will host the artistic gymnastics, trampoline, and handball competitions during the games.

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Above are signposts to the Water Cube.

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Another view of the Water Cube, from the testing labs above.

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This is the Olympic Green Tennis Center. Data on the competitions sent back from each of the venues will be fed into the Information Diffusion Systems for delivery to athletes, media, judges and others.

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The Tennis Center, as seen close up…

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...and from inside. More than 70 venues will be used during the games and the tech team is tasked with providing the same IT support for each one.

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Seen here is one of the Olympic mascots--Huanhuan, the Olympic Flame.

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Other construction is also going on apace in Beijing, including this architectural marvel.

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Behind the scenes at the Bird's Nest, Water Cube and more...

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...and the same view, at night

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