For over 30 years, Panasonic has been honored to serve as a worldwide TOP Partner for the Olympic Games, supplying cutting-edge audio-visual technology that brings the excitement and passion of the games to life. Our large-screen HD display systems and professional audio systems ensure that fans attending the event will never miss a moment of the action, and our state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment helps deliver the Olympic Games to viewers tuning in from around the world.
With just one year to go until Tokyo 2020, let’s take a look at how the event has evolved over time and how Panasonic technologies have supported the Olympic Games in building a better world through sport.
Inspired by the ancient Olympic Games of Greece, the modern Olympics are the world’s foremost sporting competition, featuring top athletes from nearly every nation around the world.
The first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, featured just nine sports and 43 events; by Rio 2016, the competition had expanded to include 28 sports, encompassing 306 events. Only five sports have been held at every edition of the games: athletics, aquatics, gymnastics, fencing and cycling.
Since the event’s inception, the number of participating delegations has grown considerably. The 1896 Olympic Games in Athens included 241 athletes from 14 delegations. In 2016, Rio hosted 11,237 competitors from 207 different countries.
So far, 28,800 athletes from around the world have won Olympic medals. The youngest medalist in Olympic history was ten-year-old Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who won a bronze medal as part of a team event in 1896. The oldest medalist, Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn, took home a silver medal at the 1920 Olympic Games at the age of 72. And the most decorated Olympian of all time – American swimmer Michael Phelps – has won 28 medals.
Panasonic joined The Olympic Partner Programme in 1987 and serves as one of its 13 charter members. As the exclusive provider of audio-video equipment for the Olympics, Panasonic has helped create dazzling opening ceremonies, ensure the security and safety of guests, and bring the action and drama of the sports to fans both in the stands and at home.
Panasonic has so far supplied more than 960 projectors that have painted the venues in vivid color. The opening ceremonies from London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 all utilized this projection technology to enhance their awe-inspiring performances.
Spectators at the Olympic Games have undoubtedly appreciated the professional audio and LED large-screen display systems used to bring the action up close. Panasonic has equipped the venues with over 340 of these large-screen displays so far, amounting to a total surface area of over 142,000 square feet – roughly 2.5 times the size of a football field!
Moreover, as the official host broadcast equipment supplier for the games, Panasonic has contributed over 840 video cameras and 8,700 monitors since the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics. This technology has been used deliver the Olympic Games to over 220 countries and regions and 5.2 billion people around the world.
And finally, to ensure safety at the games, Panasonic has provided more than 16,000 security cameras. This allows athletes, coaches, workers and fans to be able to relax and focus on the competition.
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will feature 33 sports, including five that are new: baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. These sports will be held across 42 venues; Tokyo already hosted the games back in 1964, and six former venues will once again help set the stage for the event.
There are over 5,000 medals waiting to be claimed by competitors who have trained hard to be able to take part in Tokyo 2020. In fact, some of the top athletes in the United States will be devoting hours to training at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, a 35-acre site in Colorado Springs that is powered by Panasonic technology. The training center features an immersive experience using a five-projector video rotunda that greets visitors to the center, as well as interactive touch-screen panels that allow visitors to pull stats on their favorite U.S. athletes and a nine-panel display wall that streams live video feeds of U.S. athletes from across the globe.
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 promise to be an inspiring display of athleticism and sportsmanship. And thanks to the power of technology, the games’ most incredible moments – the hard-earned victories, the stinging defeats, and everything in between – will be witnessed by over 7.8 million spectators from around the world.