Improvements of Olympic Proportions


-Hannah Mead, MCPP Intern, 2008

Four years ago, I obsessively watched NBC’s frustratingly delayed, hand-picked and limited TV coverage of the Athens summer Olympics. When a necessary two-day trip pulled me away from civilization (read: Internet access), I made calls to the local paper to find out if Michael Phelps was still winning all his races. When I returned home, I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world because I could watch little 4-minute video clips on nbcolympics.com of the highlights of what I’d missed.

Now, I am nearly devastated by the fact that, after four years of waiting, I must spend the 2008 Olympics week at a conference. However, I am greatly encouraged by the long segments of the U.S. Olympic Trials available on nbcolympics, and pleased so far with my experience with Microsoft’s new silverlight. I’m sure I’ll sit in my hotel room and connect wirelessly with my little laptop to watch extensive Olympics coverage — something I wouldn’t have counted on or even necessarily thought of in 2004. And if I were moderately well-off, I would have one of those fancy phones and no doubt watch the whole thing live on it.

The Olympics are really a spectacular marker to note the technological progress we’ve made. Four years is a good length of time: long enough to show drastic changes, and short enough to recall what life was like before. We can’t deny that technology is still improving in leaps and bounds. Maybe in four years, I’ll actually be at the Olympics — no technology could ever be a substitute that.

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