News Stories

Spying at the Olympics

Spying is not only going on at the Olympics (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show), it's RAMPANT.

France is using the internet to check out the competition. Someone from the US cycling team secretly rode the competition course in London for this summer’s Olympic Games with a three-dimensional mapping device so the Americans could build and train on a replica of it.

The US sailing team has bought property near the Olympic competition site in Weymouth, UK in order to study the weather and current conditions before the games.

In the July 23rd edition of the New York Times, Greg Bishop quotes French official Fabien Canu, who is known as the "French James Bond," as saying, "We realized that international competition was becoming more and more pronounced." So he used the internet to look for techniques and technologies used by the competition, such as cryotherapy, a recovery techniques in which athletes are subjected to low temperatures, used by Australian rowers. According to Canu, "Sports espionage is the reality these days."

In 2007, the British Olympic Association claimed that two of its databases had been hacked, the same year that Chinese police officers raided the weather monitoring equipment used by the British sailing team.

As a young assistant, US official Peter Cipolone "surreptitiously visited marinas at night," where he examined opponents' boats to find any competitive edge, logging measurements in notebooks no one ever saw.

Bishop quotes him as saying, "You might see a Brit, an Aussie and a Kiwi (New Zealander) doing the same thing. If you run into them, it's OK because we all speak English. We're all sort of on the same side. Like, 'just having a quick look.'

"There's no law against it. It's (just) considered bad from to get busted."

The French Préparation Olympique et Paralympique (POP) spent over $120,000 for a custom-built internet search engine to track sports news on the internet from other countries. France employed two full-time "watchers" to search for and organize the data by country and by sport.

In 2010, Canada created Top Secret, which raised over $2 million from private businesses for Olympic technology. Canadian sports doctor Jon Kolb claims that Top Secret produced many Canadian medals.

Bishop quotes him as saying, "London is way in my rearview mirror. We've already got projects for Rio in the works. I can't tell you what they are, of course."



Subscribe to Unknowncountry sign up now