|Technicians work around the clock at the International Broadcast Center in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. General Electric (GE) built an electrical distribution system and other support infrastructure for the world's largest sporting event this year. The company wants to do the same for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
/ Courtesy of GE Korea
By Lee Hyo-sik
With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics less than 500 days away, the organizing committee and its partners are moving quickly to implement their plans to make it one of the most successful sporting events in history.
The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games (POCOG) has discussed ways to host the event as the most "green" Olympic Winter Games to date. To that end, many of its partners have introduced a range of eco-friendly measures.
As a digital industrial leader and worldwide partner of the Olympic Games, General Electric (GE) is uniquely positioned to help Olympic host cities plan for and achieve long-term environmental goals, GE Korea said Sunday.
"We have been able to meet the needs for sustainable development in Olympic host cities over the years," a company official said. "GE has provided optimal solutions for energy, healthcare and other infrastructure, enabling host cities to organize the greatest sporting event in the most eco-friendly manner possible."
Among the Olympic Games that GE has supported since 2005, London 2012 was praised as the most sustainably green event to date.
London's slum areas were developed into arenas and convenient facilities, becoming a starting point for the successful execution of the Olympic Games and the city's balanced development.
GE installed its Jenbacher engines, which turn waste into fuel, at major Olympic power facilities while providing an uninterrupted stable power supply.
At Sochi in 2014, GE supplied advanced gas turbines, which provided both the base and peak load power for the games.
"The 2016 Rio Olympic Games was where GE's cutting-edge green technology reached its peak. The company was involved in over 160 infrastructure projects that brought the games to life for athletes, spectators and viewers worldwide," he said. "We supplied 190,000 lighting features in an area spanning 4.3 million square meters, the equivalent of 1,068 football stadiums. Half of these projects were completed with energy-saving LEDs, enabling the city to reduce its consumption of electricity by as much as 50 percent."
In addition, all Rio athletes had access to electronic medical records, powered by GE, to provide them with more comprehensive healthcare services.
The company used its digital industrial technology to improve athletes' performance as it developed real-time training performance data and analysis software program for the Brazilian Canoe/Kayak Federation to strengthen the team's medal prospects.
To provide energy connections, the company also supplied the entire electrical distribution system to the International Broadcast Center.
Furthermore, GE has established a tradition of sharing infrastructure technologies with Olympic host countries.
In the 2012 London Olympic Games, it gave medical equipment, including incubators and MRI scanners, to a hospital in eastern London, which has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. This was part of the company's tradition to donate high-tech equipment to local communities after the games.
For the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, GE donated a mobile mammography van, called "GE mammovan," which travels to remote areas of Russia where there is little access to breast cancer screening technology. The donation was the company's legacy gift, contributing to creating a healthier community in Sochi.
"We are now looking forward to being part of the PyeongChang Games. We have already been working closely with the organizing committee and various government agencies to support the establishment of critical infrastructure and deliver performance with our digital industrial technology solutions," the official said. "GE is once again setting the road for a wide range of innovative products and services that are integral to the success of staging the Olympic Games. We will do our best to make PyeongChang 2018 the greenest Olympic Games in history."