Online Olympics Web sites
By CNN Interactive Producer Steve Baxter
(CNN) -- Whether you want information on Bobsledding or the
Biathlon, to keep up with what's happening in Nagano for the
'98 Winter Olympics, there's no better place to go than the
World Wide Web. It's not exactly front-row tickets or even
television coverage, but you can get a depth of detailed
background information and up-to-the-minute results that can
be found no where else.
The official Winter Olympics site is
sponsored by the Nagano Olympic Organizing Committee and just
like the summer Olympics in Atlanta, this site is powered by
the computing muscle of IBM.
A daily news section presents the day's top stories in an
easy-to-read newspaper format. Visitors can take a virtual
tour of each Olympic venue using a VRML plugin that lets you
explore the inside and outside of each event site, rendered
in 3-D. A dramatic Shockwave movie using satellite images
takes visitors on an aerial tour of the region. Detailed
information about the Nagano Prefecture and the rugged Japan
Alps, known as "the roof of Japan," are also included.
If you want to know more about who is participating in the
games, the site breaks down the competitors geographically,
giving information about each country and their individual
team members. You can also search for athletes by their
names and the events they are participating in. Each Olympic
sport is featured, with schedules, technical details and the
rules and regulations for the competition.
Kid's Plaza, a special section for Olympic fun seekers, is
hosted by "Snowlets" Sukki, Nokki, Lekki, and Tsukki, the
official mascots of the games. It includes reference
sections written just for kids and lots of Olympics-related
activities and games. Children can send messages, electronic
postcards and share stories with other kids from around the
IBM's FanMail site lets fans
send personal messages to their favorite athletes or teams.
The 3,000 participating athletes can read their e-mail when
they visit the Surf Shack in Nagano's Olympic Village, a hip
Internet cafe built in the style of a traditional Japanese
teahouse. There they can get online Olympic information and
even create their own personal Web pages.
Nagano makes Olympic history this year with the first
snowboarding medal events and the Mountain Zone is doing a
live Webcast. The Mountain Zone is
a "high altitude" Web site that specializes in winter and
mountain-related sports. They'll be at the Giant Slalom and
Halfpipe events reporting on the results. Mountain Zone has
a pre-Olympic interview with popular U.S. skier Picaboo
Street and there's also an article about Nagano's famous
hot-tubbing snow monkeys with photographs by wildlife
photographer Art Wolfe.
If you're watching the games on CBS and want to know when and
if your favorite events will be broadcast, go to
www.winterolympics.com for television schedules. There's
also a medal count page, a message forum to discuss general
Olympic issues and an arcade section with a collection of
Shockwave games that let you simulate skiing, bobsled,
curling and figure skating.
TNT is also broadcasting the games. For its schedule go to
CNN Sports Illustrated. There,
you'll find the latest headlines, columns by sportscasters
Jim Huber and Phil Jones and "The Olympic Mailbag," a service
that lets visitors post e-mail questions to sports experts.
If you want to know more about the history of the winter
games, "The Cold Wars" special section uses the Sports
Illustrated archives for a look at past competitions.
If you want the official's take on Olympic history and its
future, go to The International Olympic Committee venue at
www.olympic.org. The newly revamped site is online just in
time for the Nagano games and offers an inside look at the
worldwide Olympics organization, with a look at progress
towards the Sydney games in 2000 and the next Winter Olympics
in Salt Lake City in 2002. It also chronicles the history of
the Olympic Movement by taking you on a tour of the Olympic
Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.