TORONTO — Athletes participating in the Whitehorse 2007 Canada Winter Games aren’t the only ones that will have to prove what they’re made of.
The 59 Xerox multifunction devices from the vendor’s DocuColor, Phaser and WorkCentrePro lines will also be put to the test, churning out an expected 2.1 million pages by the end of the Games – 563 pages per hour, 24 hours a day.
Xerox, which announced today it is the first major national sponsor for the Games, is handling all the printing for the event. That means making sure documents are printed and available on demand to the 3,500 athletes, coaches and managers, 400 officials and 200-plus media.
The company is contributing $620,000 value-in-kind to the event.
To kick off the announcement, a team of 10 Alaskan huskies pulled a wheeled sled up Yonge Street, ending their urban tour at the Olympic Spirit.
“What we’re doing will be very similar to what we did at the Olympics,” said Charlie Alexander, vice-president North American agent operations, Xerox Canada. “Everything will be connected to the network.
“One million documents are a lot of documents and it’s a lot of people, but getting onto that (network) will be possible in a whole host of ways, whether via land lines, over the Internet or by wireless. If we can reproduce it, you can get it over our network.”
Once a competition is over, the results will be available throughout the regions in exactly the same format, whether in colour or black and white.
Games president Piers McDonald said that despite the fact the organization uses the Internet extensively, it still relies heavily on paper documentation.
“We need to produce hard copies as well as electronic versions,” he said. “It’s also a very fast-paced environment so we need to be able to translate what happens in the field and get that into (the hands of officials) very quickly, and that was one of the things that really attracted us to Xerox. They are the pioneers, in our view, of doing that well.”
The organization hopes to have a number of other sponsorship announcements over the next month, one of which is expected to involve Bell Mobility, he said.
“We’re going to be a state-of-the-art Games Canada,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of discussions about test driving a few vehicles as well, both on the broadcasting side and on the information management side, so I think it will be a pretty impressive site.”
Although Xerox will be reclaiming its equipment at the end of the event, the benefits of hosting the Games will live on, said Hon. Jim Kenyon, Minister of Economic Development for the Yukon.
The people who will manage the IT systems for the Games will mostly be locals, he said, meaning a wealth of training opportunities will be available.
“The experience it’s going to leave alone is going to be fantastic,” he said.
As well, one of the complexes that will be built to house athletes for the Games will be developed into a research cluster, he said.
Kenyon said 98 per cent of Yukon residents have access to broadband Internet, as compared to about 62 per cent in Ontario.
“We have an incredibly active IT infrastructure up there,” he said.
Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik also hopes the Games will leave a long-term legacy.
“The reason why we’re taking part is we’re looking for opportunities,” he said. “We’re going to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way to promote our young territory.”