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The Olympics in the Cloud

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With the 2016 Olympics in Rio fast approaching, today, let’s take a look at how cloud computing  is impacting athletes around the world and the fans who cheer them on.

First, staying steady is everything when it comes to archery and this summer fans will be able to see in real-time the archer’s heart rate as they take aim, according to the official news outlet for the Rio 2016 Games.  Wearables used for payment will also be part of Olympic venues. Visa is working with a Brazilian bank on not only a bracelet for fans but also a “payment ring” which will be given and used by 45 sponsored athletes. Finally, to support the technology needs of the games, the official IT partner of the Olympic games has been working to migrate many of its operations to the cloud to reduce its hardware needs.  For example, they expect to have 250 servers for Rio down from 719 servers used during the London 2012 games.

Laura Gargolinski for IBM’s Thoughts on Cloud writes, “even more interesting is the way cloud technology is revolutionizing the way athletes (whether they are Rio-bound, or just regular people like you and me) eat, sleep, and train to improve their overall health, eliminate injury, and achieve optimum performance.”  In her article she highlights Team USA Cycling which has developed an application that provides real-time data analytics to cyclists while they workout or train.  IBM’s application allows the cyclist to make “on-the-spot” adjustments so they can optimize performance.  Even “regular” athletes as she describes herself, an avid runner, can take advantage of cloud-powered apps that track and help plan your training regime.

Cloud technology not only supports apps and wearables that allow athletes to perform better but it also opens up new experiences for fans and helps to make supporting tech operations more efficient.