This article was originally published on dailyherald.com.
Suburban companies united to help fight potential terrorism, provide sponsorship and increased communications with products and services to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the Olympics and throngs of visitors.
Some of the companies included Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions, Oak Brook-based McDonald’s Corp., Chicago-based AT&T, Downers Grove-based DeVry University and Romeoville-based Isovac Products LLC.
Here’s what they did:
• Motorola Solutions boosted public safety for Rio with more than 16,000 portable, in-vehicle mobile and fixed-station radios for public safety personnel, the Brazilian Army and other first responders to safeguard the millions of visitors and residents.
“We addressed a wide range of needs, deploying state-of-the-art technology, from secure voice communications to situation awareness capabilities, including the use of robust devices and different software applications,” said Rodrigo Franciscani, senior manager of Business Development Solutions & Services at Motorola Solutions Brazil.
“A key aspect of this preparation was to aim for communications interoperability among different organizations (federal, state and city) that will contribute to the citizens and visitors safety.”
Motorola Solutions Public Safety APX series radios were used by the Army and TETRA portable and mobile radios were used by state organizations. The devices provided easy use, audio clarity, background noise cancellation, protection against shock, and advanced encryption, among others, the company said.
The local agencies worked together, making it possible to gather intelligence to carry out joint actions, such as delegation protection, incident prevention and routine activities. In addition to radio communications, they had full visibility of the real-time location of the officers in the field at the command center.
• McDonald’s Corp., a long-standing sponsor, honored 100 kids from 20 countries worldwide with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the opening ceremony in Rio, said David Zlotnik, senior director of global public relations for McDonald’s.
McDonald’s Olympics Kids represented friendship, unity and kids worldwide as they participated in the opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium in front of 80,000 spectators and billions of TV viewers worldwide.
Six children from the United States were from families who benefitted from the services of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Zlotnik said.
In addition, a McDonald’s restaurant was serving media, athletes and their friends and family in the International Zone of the Olympic Village, he said.
• NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, is using the AT&Tnetworking services to deliver high-definition coverage. AT&T is also a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Since 1984, AT&T has worked with Team USA and Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls to keep them connected to coaches, family, friends and fans as they train and compete around the world, AT&T said.
“For the 10th consecutive Olympic Games, our network will help enable NBC Olympics to present their coverage to viewers,” Frank Jules, president, AT&T Global Business, said in a statement. “We know this business intimately and have the capabilities and scope to give viewers a seamless viewing experience on their screen of choice.”
In addition, AT&T hosted an event on July 1 at its store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago with U.S. women’s Olympic soccer star Alex Morgan, said AT&T spokesman Phil Hayes.
• DeVry University was an official education provider of Team USA, and DeVry allows Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls to continue their education while they pursued their Olympic dreams. There were more than 125 Team USA student athletes at DeVry and its Keller Graduate School of Management and DeVry worked with nine student-athletes for the Rio games, said a DeVry spokeswoman.
In addition, two DeVry students were chosen to work alongside the U.S. Olympic Committee tech department in Rio during the games. Through the Student Immersion Experience, DeVry student, Lisa Cha, and recent graduate, Demetrius Graham, gained on-the-ground, real-world experience working side by side with IT professionals, said a DeVry spokeswoman.
• Isovac Products LLC, which makes portable isolation units, sold one of its products to Brazil about a year ago when government officials expressed concerns about terrorism or other problems that could endanger visitors during the Olympics and other events.
The Romeoville-based company sold Brazil the unit, which looks like an enclosed stretcher that can be used in emergency situations.
It helps to quarantine someone who has an infectious disease or was exposed to a chemical, biological or radiologic weapon.
The unit also has life support equipment. The company has sold hundreds of units, which can be found in about 20 countries, Isovac President Peter Jenkner said.
“It allows medical intervention while it protects other first-responders in case they need to transport someone to quarantine,” he said.
• Hardwick Clothes, based in Cleveland, Tennessee, has tailored and designed all the suits for the NBC announcers of the Olympics.
Hardwick also supplies suits to Dean’s Clothing in Naperville and Phillips Men’s Wear in Barrington.
The high profile project has taken six months to prepare, from measuring the announcers to selecting fabrics and styles, to sewing, said CEO Bruce Bellusci, a former Hinsdale resident and former executive vice president of Hart Schaffner Marx in Des Plaines.
Bellusci left Hart Schaffner Marx in 2014, when a new owner bought Hardwick to save it from bankruptcy.
Hardwick, which provides suits to announcers for the NFL and NHL, coordinated about 100 outfits for the NBC announcers at the Olympics.
A company representative stayed in Rio during the Olympics to ensure the suits were well coordinated and fit well.