Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the IOC’s PyeongChang Coordination Commission and an IOC Executive Board Member, joined Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega, and Lee Hee-beom, President of the PyeongChang Organising Committee, to unveil the clock in the City Hall Plaza, Seoul, at a ceremony held ahead of the one-year-to-go celebrations in PyeongChang.
Omega has worked closely with the PyeongChang organisers to develop the “winter themed” countdown clock, which includes design elements of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. PyeongChang marks the 28th time Omega has provided state-of-the-art timekeeping services to the Olympic Games.
Gunilla Lindberg said: “In one year’s time the world will witness the Republic of Korea’s ability to deliver fantastic Olympic Games. It will also mark 30 years since this great city of Seoul hosted the Olympic Games in 1988. The Olympic Winter Games next year will be a truly fantastic event that will inspire people all over the world. We are very proud to count on Omega once again as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games.”
In one year’s time the world will witness the Republic of Korea’s ability to deliver fantastic Olympic Games.Gunilla Lindberg Chair of the IOC’s PyeongChang Coordination Commission
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega added: "We have been the Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games 27 times. In all those years we have never lost sight of our role, which is to serve the finest athletes in the world, who train so very hard to compete at this level".
President Lee Hee-beom of the PyeongChang Organising Committee said, "Now that the countdown clock has been unveiled, the anticipation for everyone is certainly heightened as we are just one year out from the Games. We are very grateful to Omega - a long-time Worldwide Olympic Partner and a great time-keeper of the Olympic Games - for its support of PyeongChang. It plays an important role in helping us ensure the athletes, officials and spectators are served at the highest standard and that they have the best experience possible.
He added: "I would like to take this opportunity here at Seoul Plaza in the heart of our capital city to ask for support from the people of Korea and all the sports fans around the world. We want you all to share this wonderful experience next year."
During the ceremony, CEO of Swiss Timing Alain Zobrist presented the official guests with Omega last-lap bells. The bells, made by hand in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss mountains, are used to signal the last lap in events such as cross country, biathlon, short track speed skating and speed skating.
Still in use alongside Omega’s state-of-the art timekeeping equipment, they represent a tradition unchanged for centuries.
The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang will be held from 9 to 25 February and will feature 102 events in 7 different sports.