An intimate encounter from within the Olympics machinery

London 2012 will, for the first time in Olympic history, see all 36 sports broadcast live using the Atos Remote Commentator Information System (CIS).

This means broadcasters based in their home countries will have access via Remote CIS to exactly the same quality and insight as their colleagues in London watching an event live and using CIS.

This enables broadcasters to cover more sports, more cost effectively, to provide TV viewers at home with better coverage of the London 2012 Games.

This is in stark contrast to the first radio broadcasts at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, where sports commentators needed to travel, often many thousands of miles, to ensure that they could deliver the best possible broadcasts to their listeners back home. It was not simply a case of "being where the action was".

Rather, it was simply not possible for a broadcaster to provide live commentary from their home country and still offer a "live" broadcast experience for their viewers and listeners.

Mert and his team are meeting the challenges of the world's most "unbreakable" deadline, whilst ensuring that commentators from across the world have everything they need delivered to the millisecond, allowing them to bring the London Games into millions of homes, without leaving home themselves.

Mert explains how the provision of CIS for all the London 2012 Olympic sports has involved the most extensive preparation and testing that he and his team have ever undertaken: "The Olympic Games are broadcast live to an audience of billions and there is simply no room for error. Once an event is finished, it's finished and if the commentators experienced any technical "hiccups" - well that doesn't bare thinking about!" During the final 12 months to London 2012, the Atos IT team has been working every day to ensure that any possible scenario is identified and tested for. "I don't get to see a lot of daylight as the Games get closer. Two weeks before the opening ceremony on July 27th to the closing on August 12th, our CIS team will be on duty 24 hours a day. It is a big responsibility - probably one of the biggest for anyone involved in IT anywhere in the world - and it is probably that challenge which inspires us all."