After the swimmers complete the 100 m, 200 m, or whatever race they are trying to win, they simply have to touch the wall to stop their time, as the pool wall is also loaded with sensors. These sensors respond to a force of just 1.5-2.5 kg, so even a light touch will trigger them. Additionally, there are high-speed cameras (like the one you see in the picture above), that take 100 images per second and send those images to the timekeepers in the control room, just in case a literal photo-finish is necessary.
So there you have it, that is how Omega officially timed Phelps’s victory swim last night. Truth be told, Omega’s role in the Olympics is pretty incredible and adds an element of depth to the company that not many people know about or really understand. This facet of the brand has little or nothing to do with wristwatches or anything you’ll ever see in an Omega boutique – it’s about rigorous, scientific timekeeping at the edge of what we can do technologically. The more you know.
For the official Omega video on timing, click here.