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Countdown clock

Strong tradition in Olympic Games timekeepingOMEGA: Minus One

Prestige Swiss watchmaker Omega today started the official countdown to its return to Olympic Games timekeeping at the XX Olympic Winter Games – Torino 2006. To mark the occasion, Omega organised a unique photocall with a host of Olympic winter Games legends. Omega has a strong tradition in Olympic Games timekeeping. Having been the first-ever company to be appointed official timekeeper of the Olympic Games at Los Angeles in 1932, the brand had the same honour a total of 20 further times over the course of the past century. Omega now returns to the scene as the official timekeeper of the XX Olympic Winter Games – Torino 2006, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.

The brand reaffirmed its new role at a press conference held at Turin’s Lingotto (the former Fiat factory) in the presence of numerous dignitaries from the city of Turin, TOROC (the Organising Committee for the XX Olympic Winter Games) and Dr Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, as well Mr Stephen Urquhart, President of Omega and Mr G. N. Hayek, CEO of Omega’s parent company, the Swatch Group. Mr Peter Hürzeler, Director of the Swatch Group service company Swiss Timing and a veteran of 12 Olympic Games, also gave an insight into the complex technology required to ensure accurate timekeeping and data handling for all the different Olympic Games disciplines.

During the press conference, the Olympic Games legends (see list attached) started Omega’s official countdown clock, which counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the official opening ceremony of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics at 8pm on 10 th February 2006. Omega also marked the important event with a unique photoshoot by renowned photographer Peter Lindbergh. The Olympic Winter Games legends posed in front of the lens in formal evening wear – a fact that is sure to make the finished photograph one of a kind.

Behind the scenes shots from the photoshoot will be distributed today worldwide via the Keystone network and its affiliates. The finished photograph will be made available via the Omega website as soon as it is available. Broadcast footage of the press conference and photoshoot will be available from Medialink via the APTN GVW at 1415-1430 GMT (re-feed at 1900-1915 GMT) and on Beta SP hard copy.