Surf's up at Darling Harbour!

Floating IBM Cyber Pavilion Unveiled in Sydney's Darling Harbour Today

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SYDNEY, Australia - 08 Sep 2000: - What is 9 m tall, holds dozens of surfers at a time and expects to receive thousands of visitors a day during the Olympic Games? IBM's first ever public Surf Shack, a floating technology showcase, has sailed into Darling Harbour and will be unveiled today.

Olympic athletes from around the world, including Jana Pittman (Australia, track & field), Santiago Lange (Argentina, sailing) and Waneek Horn-Miller (Canada, women's water polo), and Laurie Lawrence, swimming coach and Australian team ambassador for the Games, are expected to be on hand to help unveil the Surf Shack, which will be open to the public beginning tomorrow, 8 September from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

This dramatically designed facility will have a prominent position in the Cockle Bay section of Sydney's Darling Harbour. The approximately 250 square metre Surf Shack will feature more than 50 IBM PCs, at which fans can send FanMail (, check Olympic Games results on the Official Sydney 2000 Web site (, surf the Internet, learn about the information technology solutions IBM has created for the Games and participate in live demonstrations of IBM's voice-activated technology.

``The IBM Surf Shack in the Olympic Village has been such a popular place for athletes at previous Olympic Games, so we wanted to create a similarly exciting spot for the fans in Sydney,'' said Eli Primrose-Smith, IBM's vice president of worldwide Olympic & sports sponsorships. ``We want the Surf Shack in Darling Harbour to be a place where fans from around the world can interact with technology
in a fun way that helps them feel connected to the Games.''

In addition to the Surf Shack in Darling Harbour for the fans, IBM has also built a Surf Shack exclusively for athletes competing at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Located in the Olympic Village, the Athletes' Surf Shack is the central location for athletes to write and respond to FanMail from fans around the world, surf the Web and play interactive games.

IBM's FanMail ( is a fan-friendly Web site that allows fans to send messages of good luck and congratulations to all of the more than 10,000 athletes competing at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Designed to bring fans even further behind the scenes to learn about their favorite athletes, enhanced features for IBM FanMail in 2000 will include daily updates of the activities in the Surf Shack, a panoramic view of the Surf Shack and a ticker listing the athletes who visit each day. Fans from 126 countries sent over 300,000 messages to the athletes at the Nagano Olympic Winter Games in 1998.

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