Next Level's David Nugent (left) talks with USOPC's Sarah Hirshland about the role of technology on Team USA.Mark Bryan-Brown

The last time the U.S. hosted the Summer Olympics, cell phones were enough to make phone calls, and most people with internet at home had to rely on squeaky modems rather than cable or fiber optic connections to attend the games. I was relying on it.

“We've never hosted a summer convention in the age of technology,” USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said of LA28 on stage during Wednesday's SBJ Tech Week hearth talk. It’s going to become something.”

Hirshland told Next League CEO David Nugent that the USOPC has two primary uses for the technology: fan engagement and athlete performance.

“Some people say, 'You guys have a really long offseason,' so I'm really excited about some of the things we're doing,” Hirshland said of fan engagement. “How do we maintain consumer interest over these very long periods of time? [massive engagement moments] Is that a game? we have to think carefully. If you sat any Team USA player down here, they'd say there's no offseason. But those stories aren't being told the way we want them to be and want them to be told. And that's where digital engagement starts to come into play. ”

Here comes “Making Team USA” for this summer's Paris Games. The digital storytelling and marketplace platform, a collaboration between USOPC, NBCUniversal and Xfinity, will showcase the athletes looking to form Team USA, which will include 850 athletes in 35 sports at the Paris Games.

“Anyone here who has been an athlete in any sport knows that building a team is an important part of the process. So we are now looking at what forming Team USA actually means. We're starting to create tools to tell the story of what happens,” Hirshland said. “And our job is to tell them and bring them to you and tell them.”

When it comes to driving performance, Hirshland said it's “not just about the actual competition, but also about health and wellness, injury prevention and all of the performance technologies that we're trying to give Team USA a little bit of an edge.” Ta.

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