|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
|August 28, 2000||
Sydney to be biggest Net event everScott McDonald in Sydney
Huge time-zone differences and an explosion in computer use will make Sydney's Olympics the biggest event yet on the Internet with officials predicting a staggering 6.5 billion hits for the official Games site alone.
The gap created by the time differences between Sydney and Europe and the United States means fans seeking news and results will be logging on to the Internet rather than waiting for television broadcasts, which will mostly be taped to be shown later during evening prime time hours.
"We expect the total number of hits on the official site (www.olympics.com) will be 6.5 billion. That is approximately 10 times the number IBM experienced at the Nagano Winter Olympics two years ago," Craig Lowder, a spokesman for IBM which is an official sponsor of the Olympics, said on Monday.
There were 634 million hits at Nagano and just 187 million at the Atlanta Summer Olympics four years ago, Lowder said.
The official website includes sports news, a place to buy tickets and Olympic merchandise, an athlete of the day profile and information about Sydney.
After a switch to daylight savings time on Sunday, Australia is now 11 hours ahead of London and 15 hours ahead of New York.
The massive increase in Internet also includes Asia, especially India, China and Japan, and has resulted in a jump in global users to 275 million now from 40 million four years ago.
Lowder said he was confident that the jump in hits would not overload the system.
"It is the same hosting infrastructure that has been developed since Nagano and used very successfully at other events such as Wimbledon," he said.
IBM has set up www.IBM.com/fanmail for anyone who wants to send an email to any of the 10,500 athletes competing in Sydney.
A similar site resulted in 300,000 messages for athletes at Nagano, but Lowder said it was difficult to estimate how many messages would be generated at the much bigger Summer Games.
There is also an official site for the International Olympic Committee (www.olympic.org) which has links to the Olympic committees of each country, as well as links to the Olympic museum and a site for people who collect Olympic memorabilia.
Information on getting around and being entertained in Sydney in other languages, including Japanese, Chinese and French, can be found at www.gamesinfo.com.
Sites have also been set up for the next Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (www.slc2002.org), which are 16 months away, and for the Athens Summer games, which are more than 1,400 days away.
The exact number of days and other information can be found at the Athens 2004 site (www.athens.olympic.org/en).
The Paralympics begins on October, and more information on the 4,000 athletes competing can be found at the official site (www.olympics.com/eng/paralympics).
Not everyone supports the Games, and www.silly2000.com has a countdown clock showing the days left until the Games end.
Mail Sports Editor
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK