Omega, Official Timekeeper Unveils the Vancouver 2010 Official Countdown Clock
Vancouver, BC - A spectacular fusion of sports timekeeping technology and public art was unveiled today at a public ceremony celebrating the three-year countdown to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock, presented by Omega, Official Timekeeper, marks the three-year countdown to the opening ceremony on February 12, 2010.
The landmark sculpture stands more than six metres high and three metres wide and weighs over 1,170 kilograms (approximately 2,600 lbs). Two Omega electronic displays count down the hours, minutes and seconds remaining until the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Games. Omega, Vancouver 2010 and government officials and Olympic and Paralympic athletes revealed the permanent structure at the corner of Hornby and Georgia streets in downtown Vancouver in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Stephen Urquhart, President of Omega, said "It is a great honour and privilege to return to Canada as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games after Montreal in 1976 and Calgary in 1988. OMEGA's history is studded with significant milestones and achievements, but our participation in the Olympic movement must stand out as the most meaningful together with our role in the landing on the moon."
The Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock is the latest creation from Omega in a long-standing history of precision timekeeping and Olympic Games. The Beijing 2008 Countdown Clock stands prominently in Tiananmen Square awaiting the next Olympic Games.
Omega commissioned Karacters Design Group, a division of DDB Canada to assist with the creative design of the clock. The local Vancouver branding and design agency worked in concert with Omega's international team of timekeepers to reflect diverse sources of inspiration, including the Vancouver 2010 brand. The resulting design draws from elements of Canadiana, and First Nations art.
John Furlong, CEO, Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) said, "The spectacular Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock serves as a compelling reminder that the 2010 Games are quickly approaching. It represents the fundamental importance of timekeeping at the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will also become a unique landmark in our city, creating a lasting legacy, a meeting place, for all residents and visitors to enjoy. We are thrilled to have Omega as part of our VANOC family and look forward to counting the seconds together to the start of Canada's Games."
The clock design was inspired by both the natural and urban surroundings of Vancouver and Whistler, bringing together both man-made and indigenous natural materials. The large structure sits on cast concrete blocks and is constructed of cedar, glass and stainless steel, showcasing two electronic clocks. One side of the clock marks the countdown to the start of the XXI Olympic Winter Games on February 12, 2010 and the other side displays the countdown to the X Paralympic Winter Games opening March 12, 2010.
The Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock underlines the key role of Omega as Official Timekeeper to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Beginning in Los Angeles in 1932, Omega has delivered the official results at 22 Olympic Games to date, including 11 Olympic Winter Games, most recently at Torino 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As Official Timekeeper, Omega assures the accuracy of scoring and competition results and ensures that results are delivered promptly to the public at the venues and through broadcast, print and online media to audiences around the world.
Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega is a company of the Swatch Group, the world's largest watchmaker. Swiss Timing is the Swatch Group company whose expertise enables Omega to provide precision sports timekeeping services at the Olympic Games and many other world championships. Omega has been named Official Timekeeper of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.