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On the Road -- Documenting The Olympics

March 2002
BY MARK MICHELSON


SALT LAKE CITY—Xerox didn't receive any gold medals for its participation in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, but "The Document Company" did play a major role as the sole printing provider.

An Olympic sponsor since 1964, Xerox supplied and supported more than 3,000 printers, publishing systems, digital copiers, engineering plotters, fax machines and multifunction systems at over 100 venues for the 2002 games and the subsequent Paralympics held in early March. About 110 Xerox employees were on-site in Salt Lake City, working around the clock to provide service and support for Xerox equipment.

Number Crunch

The biggest project: Printing and distributing detailed Results Books for all 15 sporting events during the 17 days of the competition, which featured more than 3,500 athletes from 80 countries.

Under the direction of Publications Manager Joan Junker, three Xerox DocuPrint EPS 180 duplex printers output 28,000 Results Books, which were distributed within 24 to 72 hours after each sport was completed to the roughly 10,000 broadcast and print media covering the games.

Customized reports, featuring start lists, official results, stats and weather forecasts, were also printed on Xerox Document Centre 432 and 480 devices—and distributed in as little as five minutes, according to Tammy Power, technology manager.

In addition, Xerox network printers supported the kiosk-based information retrieval system, called Info2002, which was available to the athletes, volunteers and Olympic staff. Xerox DocuPrint N2125s printed competition schedules, athlete bios, start lists, medal statistics and more at the kiosks located at the various Olympic venues.

Xerox helped print the documentation required for events operation, international accreditation, day passes, security, and medical and transportation staff, as well.

And, following the games, Xerox produced 7,000 CD-ROMs to provide an electronic legacy of the results information.

"Just like the athletes, we must improve our performance at each Olympic games, making it our goal to meet the always-rising bar for technology integration," revealed Vince Schaeffer—manager worldwide Olympic operations for Xerox—during a special analysts and trade press briefing held about one month before the games.

Xerox had been operating and testing its equipment in Salt Lake City for more than a year leading up to the event, he added. This includes operating a fully networked DigiCentre publishing center for the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee (SLOC).

Capable of producing 1.2 million impressions per month, it enabled SLOC to produce thousands of documents in-house, making it one of the largest reprographics facilities in Utah.

Learning Curve

Training was a critical factor, as well, given that there were roughly 30,000 volunteers and 5,000 Olympic staff involved, noted Mark Smiley, desktop analyst.
 

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