Olympic athletes share moments of triumph – and despair – with their families in real time via live video links in arenas, in an effort to circumvent the Covid ban on supporters in Tokyo.
And new technology is improving the TV viewer’s experience, allowing spectators to monitor even nervous competitors’ heartbeats as they prepare for critical match moments.
The system of connecting sportsmen and women with their loved ones is known as Athlete Moment. It is one of a number of technological innovations at the Games.
The Olympic Broadcasting Service has set up two-way video links so attendees can watch the celebrations, or condolences, of their family and friends at home when they complete their events.
Team GB gold medalist Tom Daley is one of those who were able to go to the monitor to see his merry family after taking the dives of a lifetime.
Tom Daley and Matty Lee were able to instantly connect with their family through poolside monitors
The 27-year-old won his first Olympic gold alongside Matty Lee in the men’s synchronized 10m platform event.
As the divers went to the screen, you could hear Tom’s fans yelling, “Show us your medal?”
And the Olympic heroes enthusiastically waved their bling in front of the screens in front of the people at home.
The Team GB pair put in a stunning performance to win a synchronized 10m platform event
The divers were able to go to a monitor in the arena and share the moment with their loved ones
Five Olympic arenas have the ‘Athlete Moment’ monitors for participants to talk to loved ones
The facility is available in five of the Olympic venues.
After making the cut of his life to win a silver medal behind Team GB’s Adam Peaty in the men’s 100m breaststroke final, Arno Kamminga from the Netherlands was able to celebrate right away with his friends, who were waiting for him. through a video link.
“They were on screen and that feels so special,” Arno said afterwards. “I knew they were with me, but to see them right after my race and right after I got my medal is amazing.
Arno Kamminga from the Netherlands could immediately celebrate with his friends, who were waiting for him via a video link
“It’s my special people – my family, friends and even my old coach, where it all started. Good swimming is great fun, but to share it with your family and friends and your loved ones makes it even more fun.’
Hungary’s Omar Salim just missed a medal in his taekwondo event, but those closest to him were on screen cheering him up right after the bronze medal fight.
“There were a lot of people there!” explained Omar. “We had my mother, my uncle Joseph, who also fought for Hungary in the past, and then many of my friends and teammates with whom I grew up in taekwondo. They were all looking at me from different places, and it was so nice to have that support.’
During the pandemic, there have been a number of experiments involving fan interaction, including in the Premier League. where supporters had the chance to appear on a live video wall streamed to stadiums.
Developments in the Olympics could pave the way for increased fan participation in live events in the future
“What we’re working on is incredibly important, and I think it’s here to stay,” said Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of Olympic Broadcast Services, which provides the broadcast feed to rights holders around the world.
The Olymopics have also developed online fan interaction with videos and virtual cheers
“Following the announcement that no international fans would be allowed into Japan, we felt it was our duty to ensure their voices were heard during the Games, so we accelerated some of the ideas we had for future games.
“Our job was to decide how we can use technology to support athletes because these are games of human connection. Despite the difficult circumstances and procedures. We have to emphasize that the world is here, and the world is watching and engaging and supporting the efforts of the athletes.”
In addition to Athlete Moments, the Olympic Broadcasting Service has created a Fan Zone where viewers can upload videos of themselves and a virtual cheer to show their appreciation for the athletes.
More than 80 million acclaim has been received from the 205 countries participating in the Olympic Games to date.
In archery, special cameras and technology can capture athletes’ biometrics
The innovations are not only intended to support the athletes. The coverage includes new features that will undoubtedly define sports coverage for years to come.
In the sprint races, viewers can track the top speed of the athletes and analyze the different phases of each race.
There are also new insights into what the athletes go through as they compete, with biometrics providing information about their stress levels.
In archery, four cameras located 20 meters from the athletes focus on their faces and analyze the small changes in skin color generated by the contraction of blood vessels from the captured video.
The audience has been able to see the heart rate variations and adrenaline rush experienced by the archer’s body as they shoot their arrow, through an on-screen graphic using technology from Intel. The data is displayed in a ‘confidence level’ for each shot they need to make.
Viewers can watch the action and track the heart rate and ‘confidence levels’ of nervous athletes
“The Olympics have always been a platform for innovation in live sports coverage,” said Sotiris Salamouris, chief technology officer. Sports post.
“Many important technological changes were either first introduced during the Olympics or became widespread when they were adopted during the Games. The examples are many and impressive: from live satellite contribution to formats with enhanced image quality to specialized cameras of various types.
“Once the Olympics adopt new technologies and production methods, the industry is confident that they will be used continuously from this point on, becoming the new ‘standard’ for live sports storytelling. That has happened time and again in the past.’