Setting The Agenda
Sport thrives on the interaction between competitors and fans, and an Olympics held in the shadow of Coronavirus has inevitably been affected. But Olympic athletes have overcome bigger obstacles than this.
In 1948, the 14th Summer Olympics operning ceremony consisted of the release of a flock of pigeons and a 21 gun salute from the Royal Horse Artillery. Just a few years after World War Two, budgets were limited and this was the first event that saw food rationing applied to athletes.
Alice Coachman, the world’s greatest high jumper at the time, became the first black woman to win a track and field gold medal. Coachman had been a champion in waiting throughout the war years and seized her moment in style. Her impact would continue after her retirement from competition. In 1952 she became a spokesperson for Coca Cola; she was the first African American to earn a commercial endorsement of any kind.
And the undisputed star of the Games was another woman who had waited a long time for the opportunity. Fanny Blankers-Koen, a 30 year old mother of two, entered four sprint events. Many dismissed her as past her best. Some male commentators in her native Netherlands suggested that she should stay home and look after her children. Four gold medals were an eloquent response. Blankers-Koen was the first Dutch athlete to win an Olympic title, and her success began to change the perception of what women and mothers could achieve in competitive sport.
This Tokyo Olympics is no different with some notable global firsts. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz from the Philippines won the gold, a first for her country despite nearly 100 years of participation in the Games. Another weightlifter Polina Guryeva made history for her country, too: her silver medal is the first Olympic medal Turkmenistan has earned since gaining independence from the Soviet Union. When Alessandra Perilli earned a bronze medal in women’s trap shooting last week, San Marino became the smallest country to ever medal at the Games and the first-ever Olympic medal for San Marino. The Irish lightweight double skulls pair, Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won Irelands first rowing Gold medal also last Thursday.
When you finish first, you make a breakthrough that can set an agenda for your sport or your industry. XTM International was founded in 2002 with the goal of enabling global communication. Bob Willans and Andrzej Zydroń saw a future in which language technology and human ingenuity would combine in the cloud service of that goal. This was a first. Two decades on, the breakthroughs keep coming.
Pioneering applications of Artificial Intelligence, notably in our proprietary technology Inter-language Vector Space, enable us to offer clients greater consistency, cost savings and speed to market. Inter-language Vector Space draws on all available online data to calculate the probability of a target language word being an accurate translation of a source language word. It enables accurate forecasting of the human editing required post-machine translation, and that enables accurate prediction and control of costs and timescales. It’s a game-changer and we believe another first.
As enjoyable as it is to stand on top of the podium, there’s even greater satisfaction in knowing you’re lighting the way for others to follow. We’re delivering consistency, security, cost-effectiveness and choice. It’s enabling, it’s empowering and it’s setting the agenda for the 2020s.
Which barriers have you helped to break down? How have you set the agenda?