Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Every Olympics produces at least a couple of nail-biting finishes, races so close we yell ourselves hoarse screaming at the television, as if that would push the athletes just a little bit harder. The job of measuring finishes that close falls to the Olympic timers, a team of 450 technicians who use more than 400 tons of equipment to ensure peerless accuracy timing.
But sometimes even the very finest in timing technology is not enough. Dead heats are rare, but not unheard of, as we saw during the 1984 Summer Games when Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer registered the same time in the 100-meter freestyle. Both won gold, the first double-gold in swimming history. Close finishes are what give the Games their excitement.