An Olympic Feat
Vancouver's 2010 Games create unique geographical, timeline challenges
- By Megan Weadock
- Aug 01, 2009
After the staggering success of the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing, you could argue that
things have been changed forever. Beijing's
Games featured an unprecedented amount of impressive
construction, dazzling entertainment and hightech
security. For years to come, Olympic venues and
events will be compared to 2008, while the security
industry will continue to reflect on the amazing feat
that was last year's Games.
That's why, with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games in Vancouver looming on the horizon, the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police decided to take advantage
of Honeywell Building Solutions' experience with
Olympic security to provide a perimeter intrusion detection
system for 18 of the city's major venues.
Not Just Fun and Games
The Vancouver Olympic Winter Games will be held in
February, followed by the Paralympic Winter Games in
March. The Olympic Games include seven sports—such
as bobsleigh, luge and skiing—with more than 80 countries
participating. The Paralympic Games, a sport event
for elite athletes with physical or visual disabilities, feature
alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice
sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
The competitions draw thousands of athletes, as well
as an overwhelming number of spectators. For weeks,
Vancouver's population will swell as visitors navigate
between the Games' competition venues and non-competition
facilities, as well as the city's hotels, restaurants
and retail centers. Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell
Building Solutions, readily acknowledges that providing
security in such a situation is an enormous task.
"The difficulty lies in the geographic scope, which
entails securing 27 kilometers of event perimeter
across a wide range of locations, including diverse
landscapes, from mountain terrain to urban settings,"
Orzeske said. "It's not a one-size-fits-all, plug-and-play
type of installation. The installation requires ensuring
we have the have the appropriate infrastructure at each
of the 18 locations to match with the various surroundings
As the Centennial Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta
Games proved, Olympic security is vital, regardless
of the obstacles.
"A successful Olympic Games requires impeccable
planning, state-of-the-art venues and a seamless flow
between events without interruption—and security is
paramount to helping meet these requirements," Orzeske
said. "Top-notch security entails not only advanced technology
and engineering, but also having the right management
expertise and resources in place to deliver the
system on time and ensure it operates smoothly, keeping
venues safe and secure."
Learning From the Past
The Vancouver Games won't be the first time Honeywell
has been tapped to secure Olympic venues. Last year in
Beijing, the company provided intrusion detectors and
surveillance cameras for several facilities, including the
Bird's Nest, the main Olympic stadium.
For the Sydney 2000 Games, Honeywell supplied
building automation, fire and security controls for several
key infrastructure projects. Honeywell Digital Video
Manager™ was installed at the Sydney Airport to supply
video surveillance with full integration, and the company
provided central station control to Airport Link, an
underground rail network that joins the airport to Sydney's
Central Station in Harbour City. The central control
station controls and monitors the rail system's security,
fire protection, ventilation, emergency warning, CCTV
and lighting systems.
Honeywell also employed Excel Security Manager
with intelligent camera functions for security, surveillance
and access control at Stadium Australia, which,
at the time of the Games, was the largest Olympic stadium
ever built. Finally, the company used EBI at the
Sydney SuperDome to improve monitoring and integration
of access control, door and panic alarms, and
A Holistic Approach
Orzeske said Honeywell began staging and testing the
Vancouver system in May, and the company will install
the equipment as the various venues come online.
The system will include assessment and detection
equipment mounted around the Olympic and Paralympic
venues. When a potential disturbance is identified,
alarms will activate to allow security personnel to respond
quickly. Honeywell also will provide 24/7 service
support to ensure the system is fully operational at all
times throughout the Games.
Several new facilities are being built for the Games,
including the Vancouver Olympic Centre, UBC Winter
Sports Centre, Richmond Olympic Oval and Whistler
Olympic Park. Afterward, the new arenas will continue to
be used by the community. Other buildings used for the
Games, such as the BC Place Stadium and Pacific Coliseum,
are existing facilities.
Honeywell is even helping to stimulate the Vancouver
economy by employing local contractors, which
included more than 200 people at one point, in order
to meet the tight deadlines and geographic challenges.
After the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games
in March, the company will disassemble and remove
The company also will take steps to specify equipment
and materials that can be reused for other projects,
aligning with Vancouver's sustainability commitment for
the 2010 Games.