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Triangle IBMers Playing Major Role in Nagano Games

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — The 1998 Winter Olympics begin next week in Nagano, Japan. But several dozen Triangle residents have been working on the project for 18-months.

IBM supplies computers, software, networking and lots of labor for the Winter Games. WRAL OnLine reporter Tom Lawrence found out Triangle IBMers will play a major role during the games.

IBMhas supplied timing and scoring, results for the media and the rest of the world for 37 years. This year they do it again and much more of it.

Research Triangle Park is IBM's largest site. So it stands to reason lots of Olympic help will come from the folks who work here.

When the games begin in Nagano, hundreds of millions of people are expected to watch on television and follow the results on the Internet. Much of what we hear, read and see about the Olympics will be the result of work by a core group of Triangle IBM employees.

Jack Overacre directs worldwide Olympic technology for IBM.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."Some have been living there 90% of the time, some have been over there 100% of the time over the past 18 months."As we watch the games, more than 5,000 computers and a fiber optic network will do the scoring, feed information to CBS, the world press, the Internet and the Olympic family in Nagano.

Triangle IBMers fill key positions.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."We have a lot of the high level skills to pull all this off, many with multiple olympic experiences."

More than 600 IBM employees from around the world will work with products from Research Triangle Park.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."Most every product out of Raleigh, both software and hardware is involved in the games and a big support structure from Raleigh is involved in the games."The official Olympic Internet site, also powered by IBM, is expected to get more visitors than any in history.

Listen toauorReal Audiofile."Everybody in the world watches. It is one of the times when the world comes together for a sports event, for an event that is very important to everyone."You can connect to several Olympic web sites from theWinter Olympics sectionof WRAL OnLine, including the official site. And you can read our friendJim Payne's personal perspectiveon the games. He's already started and is headed to Japan for the games.


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