Canadians Have Reason to Celebrate…Even One Year Later!
Celebrations took place in B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Whistler to mark the first anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which began February 12, 2010.
Reasons to celebrate can be found in the statistics relished by sports fans everywhere. In case you've forgotten…
- Canadian Olympic athletes climbed the podium to cheering crowds a record 26 times to accept 5 bronze, 7 silver and 14 gold medals—more gold than any other team and tying the all-time high for most gold medals won by a country since the Winter Games were first held in 1924;
- Alexandre "The Great" Bilodeau won the first gold medal by a Canadian Olympic athlete on home ground on the second day of competitions;
- the Canadian women's hockey team won its third straight Olympic title; and
- the Canadian men's hockey team won gold over the United States.
Industry Canada's Story
Industry Canada's contribution to the success of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was two-pronged: the Department facilitated Olympic and Paralympic trade-mark protection through the collaboration of experts from Strategic Policy Sector (SPS) and the Trade-marks Branch at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), while Industry Canada's Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Branch was tasked with the effective management of radio spectrum throughout the Games.
It was Industry Canada's responsibility to meet the challenging and complex spectrum needs associated with the 2010 Winter Games. Effective management of the radio spectrum was essential to ensure that the large numbers of radios and other wireless devices carried by the tens of thousands of users flooding into the Vancouver–Whistler corridor for the Games would not interfere with one another and could co-exist with those already in operation throughout the region—already one of the most congested radio environments in Canada.
Starting in 2008, Industry Canada began working in partnership with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) to ensure that the radio frequencies required by all users were made available well in advance of the Games.
The Canadian Tourism Commission, a member of the Industry Canada Portfolio, played a significant role in helping to ensure that Canada was prepared to showcase the spirit and hospitality of its people and the natural wonder of its attractions to the world when the nation hosted the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games.
These users, all of whom would be relying on their wireless devices to function perfectly, included a workforce of more than 55,000 volunteers and other workers; Olympic and Paralympic event organizers and competition officials; 10,000 accredited journalists; national television broadcasters and news agencies; participating teams (including athletes and their coaches and trainers) from more than 80 countries around the world; and the full range of emergency first-responders (police, fire and ambulance services) that had an increased presence in the region.
"Imagine how satisfying it was when the Olympic broadcasters and companies like Bell Canada and Omega, which have been doing electronic timing for the Olympic Games for decades, told us that Industry Canada was hands-down the best prepared of any spectrum management team they'd ever worked with," says Philip Fleming, Deputy Executive Director, Industry Canada Pacific Region, and Director, 2010 Winter Games for Industry Canada.
Approximately 60,000 licensed radio devices such as two-way radios, wireless microphones, high-definition cameras, intercoms and remote-controlled systems were brought in from around the world—more than double the number that were already in use in the Vancouver-Whistler area. These devices used some 2,800 unique, temporary frequency assignments.
Before the Games got underway, a highly specialized 2010 Spectrum Team established by the Department was on the ground. Equipped with sophisticated spectrum monitoring and direction-finding equipment, designed and fabricated by the Communications Research Centre (CRC), they were able to respond quickly, often on very short notice, 24 hours a day, to cases of radio interference and unauthorized radio use. These had the potential to disrupt competitions and related events, and a wide range of essential operations (including telecommunications and those related to ensuring public safety and security).
Remember that golden goal by Sidney Crosby in overtime against the Americans? Imagine what would have happened if there'd been questions about whether the puck went into the net and the net-cam hadn't been working at the time. Well, it could have happened…Here is an actual Games Report on the problem:
DAY 10: Feb 20/10 — IC Spectrum 2010 Games Report
CHP Net Camera—In case you were wondering what happened to Part 2 of the net-cam story at Canada Hockey Place, we have a successful resolution. You'll recall that, after resolving the problem with the video feed, the net-cam operator reported telemetry problems, resulting in the device behaving erratically. Initially, our teams suspected a European license-exempt device being used in the vicinity of the control box, but this proved not to be the case after an alternate frequency was tested. Making things even more difficult was the fact that the net-cam worked perfectly in between periods but not when the game was in play. As it turns out, a metal platform being rolled in and out for each period in order to allow the ice-cleaning machines to pass through was directly impeding the telemetry antenna. It has since been moved to the goal-judge area and has been working perfectly ever since. Case closed.
Industry Canada investigated a total of 84 cases of radio interference, 5 cases of unauthorized use of radio frequencies and 7 other types of investigation activities. Thanks to the years of planning by Industry Canada and VANOC, many of these cases were resolved and closed within hours; others required more extensive fieldwork to locate the source of interference and identify a solution in consultation with the users.
Ultimately, there were no reported disruptions to the Games resulting from radio interference.
The effectiveness of the 2010 Games spectrum management portal in providing services to Canadians was recognized in October 2009 at the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC) Distinction Awards Gala when the joint Industry Canada–VANOC design team was honoured with the Service Delivery Award.
As anniversaries go, this one is worth celebrating by all who delivered a Games experience to millions of viewers in Canada and around the world.
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