Throwback Thursday: Threat of Terrorism Looms Over 2002 Winter Olympics

Olympic security has evolved quite a bit over the years. Here’s a peek at what it was like during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

Throwback Thursday: Threat of Terrorism Looms Over 2002 Winter Olympics

Welcome to another edition of SSI Throwback Thursday, where we take a look back at snapshots of from past years.

Today we are taking a glimpse of the website from February 2002. Compared to 1998’s version of the site, SSI online evolved quite a bit.

Much more information was added to the site as well as online-exclusive content. 2002 also saw the introduction of the Tech Talk column online, which was then formatted as a Q&A.

February’s cover story, “The Security of Champions,” took a look at security preparations for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Here’s an excerpt from the feature:

More than $300 million is being spent to safeguard the Salt Lake City Games — making it the most highly protected sporting event of all time. That figure would be even greater if not for the contributions of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sensormatic Electronics Corp., Official Electronic Security Sponsor of the Olympics.

Sensormatic, which was recently purchased by Tyco, is exclusively supplying access control, video surveillance, asset protection, remote video transmission and asset tagging and tracking systems in 35 spectator, nonspectator and support venues.

The company is supplying one thread of a multifaceted security tapestry that includes the efforts of Olympics officials, local law enforcement, other suppliers and contractors, and a host of state and federal agencies. The coordination of these organizations, the cold climate, the rugged terrain and the event’s transitory nature were some of the many hurdles that had to be cleared in order to keep the drama confined to the athletic competition.

At some of the venues, such as Utah Olympic Park, where the bobsledding, luge and ski jumping competition will be held, physical perimeter security like fencing is impractical. This makes electronic security and manpower even more critical.

To facilitate the observation capabilities of Olympic officials and security staff throughout the venues, Sensormatic installed hundreds of CCTV cameras. The surveillance systems are the centerpiece of its contributions.

It’s interesting to see security efforts in 2002 compared to today. While the Salt Lake City games relied primarily on manpower and CCTV cameras, this year’s games employs high-tech security technology like drones, analytics, cybersecurity preventatives and much more.

You can read the rest of the feature and explore the 2002 version of by clicking here.

Do you remember surfing SSI online back in 2002? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author


Steven A. Karantzoulidis is the Web Editor for Security Sales & Integration. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication and has a background in Film, A/V and Social Media.

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