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With sporting events such as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon, and this year’s World Cup having dominated our televisions throughout the summer months, and sports such as football and rugby featuring throughout the year, it is always possible to get involved in sport in one way or another. For those of us, however, who are not quite at the level of Usain Bolt, taking part is often done via our laptops, televisions, or phones instead of in the pool or on the track. If you’re not lucky enough to attend the events themselves and are instead stuck in the office, you are going to want real time updates as the events progress, and this is where technology comes into play.
Usually the unsung hero, technology has come into its own in terms of creating the modern sporting culture we see today. From thousands of miles and multiple time zones away you can still know exactly what is going on with your favourite athlete or local team. Even if we just consider something as basic as viewing figures for major events, it is clear to see the role technology plays in bringing these events to the public. For example, the London 2012 Olympic Games delivered the biggest national television event since current measuring systems began, with 51.9m watching at least 15 minutes of coverage.
However, IT doesn’t just help to get sport onto people’s televisions. Technology is deeply woven into sport and sporting performance, and from pedometers on a smartphone to nano-coating on mountain bikes to repel water, athletes rely on technology throughout their training to not only monitor but also enhance their performance. In addition to this, in an age where information is so readily available online, spectators have grown to expect real-time updates in the form of apps or live feeds. With nearly every aspect of the spectator experience in some way connected to technology it is critical that it runs smoothly behind the scenes in order to deliver a seamless experience to the user.
When a major sporting event takes place, such as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which took place from 23rd July to 3rd August 2014, technology is hard at work in almost every area. From servers and storage to laptops and tablets, IT solutions provided the reliability and support that was required to ensure everyone involved in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – the fans, volunteers, officials and athletes – had the best experience possible. With over 1,000,000 spectators around the world and a global audience of 1.5 billion it was critical that the technology behind the scenes maintained an uninterrupted stream of communication between the games sites and the spectators.
As more and more people get involved in sport, and it continues to evolve and change, technology will always play a major role. And as technology itself develops, athletes and spectators alike will expect the technology within sports to keep up and provide them with bigger and better events than in previous years. If you look at just how far we’ve come since tennis was played with wooden rackets and the results of football matches were found out the next day in the papers, it’s impossible not to recognise technology’s part in all this. Without technology we wouldn’t be where we are today and sporting events from the World Cup in Brazil, to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games wouldn’t become the global phenomena that we see today on our TVs, laptops, mobiles, or tablets.
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