Salt Lake 2002

Behind the Scenes at the Olympic Games

Behind the Scenes at the Olympic Games The Solidarity of the Team:
Overcoming Crises and Leading the Games to Success

Photo: The Olympic rings being displayed with fire on the stadium's ground at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002

Following our success at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, Panasonic furnished the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002, the first Winter Games of the 21st century, with the ASTROVISION large-screen display system, the RAMSA sound system, and a wide range of broadcasting equipment. Panasonic also ran the operations of these systems. Ahead of any Olympic Winter Games, equipment installation and pre-construction preparations are done before snowfall. This is because durability tests against snow and cold must be conducted before October, when snow starts covering the mountains. Thus at Salt Lake City, there was a race to the deadline. However, work would be stalled due to an unforeseen reason.

The Impact of the Unexpected Global Terrorist Attacks

In September, during the final negotiations of the supplier contract for the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002, the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred. Though they were finally reaching an agreement, the two parties were forced to review the contract from scratch to include a clause for crisis management. The final agreement was ultimately reached in December, and the contract arrived in Japan after the holidays.
Panasonic had wanted to push the construction at a rapid pace. But the terrorism had a profound impact on security that caused delay.

Photo: The Olympic rings and Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002 emblem being shown on an ASTROVISION large display unit installed at a venue of the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002

“The vehicular security passes to enter the construction sites became much more restrictive. We applied for security passes one by one for each venue, and had to renew if work did not finish within the working hours of 6 am to 11 pm. We planned everything down to the minute.”
Nevertheless, the team was backed by reassuring reinforcements. Panasonic’s local partner had produced the Super Bowl, a major sporting event even by American standards, the center of show business. With the help of such experienced staff, Panasonic was able to work efficiently to meet the tight schedule.

Photo: Security guards and staff wearing their ID cards around their necks at one of the construction sites

The Audio Video that Brought a Spectacular Close to the Games

After seventeen days of fierce sporting competitions, the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games kicked off with fireworks that painted the night sky. Panasonic’s AV systems team was finishing their last preparations to round out the Games with a spectacular finish.
The crowd erupted in roar as the ASTROVISION in the main stadium displayed the Olympic flag in the hands of the Mayor of Torino, Italy, the host of the next Olympic Winter Games. The lantern carried in the Opening Ceremony by the “Child of Light” was placed in the hands of a ten-year-old girl from Torino. The Olympic flame was softly extinguished to the song, “The Prayer,” bringing the Games to a successful close. With this, the members of Team Panasonic started to shake hands, reveling in their successful journey.

Photo: Audio system staff installing speakers at a venue of the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002