68Chapter Four / SPONSORSHIP"Since 1932, the Olympic Games have provided us with a uniqueplatform to convey our message of precision, quality and innovation in a prestigious and fitting environment."Stephen Urquhart, President of OMEGAOMEGA first served as the Official Timekeeper at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1932. Neverbefore had a single company been chosen to provide all the timing devices and technology for theOlympic Games. At those Games, OMEGA delivered 30 handheld stopwatches, which were used totime every event. In Vancouver and Whistler in 2010, 235 professional timekeepers and data handlers, along with hundreds of carefully selected and trained local volunteers, used more than 220 tons of equipment to ensure that the timing, scoring, display and distribution of the results were flawlessly executed.OMEGA's unparalleled reputation as an innovator in sports timing and measurement technologies hasled to a long, rewarding relationship with the IOC. In Vancouver, OMEGA assumed its OfficialTimekeeper role for the 24th time and the company recently announced that it had extended itsagreement with the IOC through 2020. OMEGA's partnership with the Olympic Movement wasreflected in some of its products and in the advertising and publicity campaigns that were activatedespecially for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.The Countdown Clock and the OMEGA BobsleighAmong the symbols that best represented OMEGA's Olympic role was the Countdown Clock indowntown Vancouver, which was unveiled on 12 February 2007, exactly three years before thefestivities were scheduled to begin. The clock, which is three metres wide and more than six metreshigh, weighs a staggering 1,170 kilograms. During the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games it wasone of the most popular locations for photo opportunities among the hundreds of thousands ofvisitors to Vancouver.In Vancouver and Whistler, OMEGA placed sleek red bobsleighs which also became popularphotographic subjects as visitors posed in and around the sleighs. The bobsleighs were ideal locationsfor presentations of OMEGA watches to selected Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists throughout the Games.