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Timing of the games: Then and now (photos)

CNET's Ina Fried has a look at the technology used to time and score the Winter Games, from analog stopwatches to the latest in high-tech sensors.

Ina Fried

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1 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

A long tradition

Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics since the 1936 Winter Games, when a single Omega technician showed up to Germany with 27 stopwatches.
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2 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

A mini-bobsled

Omega set up a remote-controlled mini-bobsled in its suite at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver to show how its timing technology works. In both real and mini-bobsled, a light sensor measures when the sled crosses the start and finish lines.
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3 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

The starting gate

Christophe Berthaud, general manager of Omega Timing shows off the starting gate used at alpine skiing. The gate measures exactly when, within a 10 second window, a skier begins his or her run.
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4 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Photocells, then and now

Two generations of Omega's photocell technology, one from 1964 and the other from 2005.
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The 'snowgate'

A new starting gate is being used for alpine skiing in Vancouver. The "snowgate" is designed to ensure that the start time begins when the bar is at the same angle for each competitor.

It also includes both a main and a backup system, one using purely mechanical technology and the other an electro-mechanical mechanism.

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The new starter gun

Among the many Winter Olympics firsts at Vancouver is the use of a new all-electronic starter gun that emits a consistent sound and light.

Plus, says Omega's Christophe Berthaud, it's a whole lot easier to get through airport security.

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