Definition

IT Olympics (Geek Games)

Part of the IT standards and organizations glossary:

The IT Olympics (less formally known as the "Geek Games") is a parody Web site set up as the computer world's version of the Olympic contests. The IT Olympics began in 1996, when they were ostensibly held in Nagano (Ohio) and the tradition has been carried on. The 2000 Games were set in Sydney (South Dakota), and the 2002 Winter IT Games are being held, of course, in Salt Lake (Michigan). A spokesperson claims that the group behind the IT Olympics is a legitimate, non-existent organization and expresses hopes that it will continue to be so.

IT Olympic events include:

  • The CPU Tower Jump
  • Multi-platform System Configuration
  • The Software Byathlon
  • Long Distance Fax Race
  • Technical Support vs Management Sumo Wrestling
  • XML Interface Gymnastics
  • Code Wrestling (in which teams attempt to wrangle incompatible code from incompatible versions of incompatible software into a functional program)
A similarly themed Web site, The FidoNet Olympics, features such events as Greco-Roman Thread Wrestling and the 14.4K Protocol Negotiation.

Like the regular Games, the IT Olympics have to change with the times, which is why the popular Diskette Toss is a thing of the past, as the industry moves on. Another popular event, "Bringing Down the Server When a Significant Number of Users is on Deadline" was cancelled as well, since all contestants were equally skilled.

Sadly, competitors do not always prove themselves worthy of the Olympic ideals; there are reports that illegal Java subroutine s were found in the Legacy Code Event and there have also been occasional rumours of keyboard abuse. Another controversy surrounds the exclusion of the Printer/Copier category, which supporters feel should be included, despite the official ruling that printers and copiers don't fully meet the requirements to be considered IT devices. Nevertheless, the IT Olympics claim to be a unifying force. As Carl Jenson, ITO event manager, was quoted (in Wired Magazine) as saying, "It brings me great joy to see all these people from all different operating systems coming together to code in peace and unity."

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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