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NZ fans continue to register their online support for the kiwi contingent - sending notes of support to our athletes at and logging up the third highest number of FanMail messages sent from anywhere in the world. In total, 278,315 FanMail messages have been sent and 3,253 athlete home pages created.

For further information, contact Jennifer Dell on 09 359 8516 or 021 502 196. Creates Games Records Online

Sydney, September 25, 2000 -- World records have tumbled on the track, in the pool and on the official Web site of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games,

From the time soccer (football) competition began two days before the September 15 opening ceremony, there have been more than 6.5 billion hits on the Web site designed, developed and hosted by IBM in conjunction with the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG). IBM and SOCOG originally estimated the site would receive about 6.5 billion hits for the entire duration of the Sydney Games. The Games continue for seven more days until the closing ceremony October 1.

Internet traffic to the official site has far surpassed the popularity of previous Olympic Games Web sites. The official Nagano Web site received 634 million hits over the 16 days of the Winter Games in 1998 and the official 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Web site recorded 187 million hits.

?We are seeing traffic patterns that look like a giant tsunami moving around the globe as people log on to check results and news about the Games,? said Laurie Courage, Director of Internet Strategy and Web Events for IBM, Worldwide Olympic Information Technology partner for the Games. ?The popularity of proves that fans worldwide go to the Internet often for information they want, when they want it?.

IBM and SOCOG attribute the success of the official Web site to its global appeal and the fact that it is the only destination on the Internet that offers comprehensive information and results about every athlete, every sport and every country. More than 5.7 million unique users have visited the official site to date. For the single day, Saturday, September 23, there were more than 906,000 unique users, and 47 percent visited the site for the first time while the other 53 percent were repeat visitors.

One of the most popular features on the site is the IBM Real-Time Scoreboards. Fans have downloaded 1.6 million scoreboards and requested 58.3 million sports results. The average time fans have kept scoreboards on their computer desktops is 30.10 minutes. Of the 11 IBM Real-Time Scoreboards available, basketball , tennis, football (soccer) and baseball were the most popular.

For more information contact: Natalie Harms, IBM: +61 417-689-677 Lisa Herden, IBM: +61 408-294-068

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