Behind the Smart Asian Games: How Cloud Computing + AI is Reshaping Sports Events

The 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games have come to an end. In addition to the active sportsmen and women on the field of play, technology is another business card that this year’s Asian Games has shown to the world. Intelligence is one of the keywords of the Hangzhou Asian Games, and the intelligent running of the games is also proposed for the first time in the history of large-scale international sports events. Intelligent Asian Games as the concept, this Hangzhou Asian Games in the event and city services in the two aspects of a wide range of intelligent technology, to achieve a number of Asian Games and even the first international sports events.
From the first appearance of the digital torchbearer to the Asian Games in the history of the first one-stop digital viewing service platform, and then to cloud computing and other technologies to achieve a comprehensive event system on the cloud, the Asian Games achieved a number of intelligent applications debut. Not only that, the Hangzhou Asian Games will also combine sports, science, and technology with art to achieve artistic and cultural innovation, artists and AliCloud AI model Tongyi Wanxiang join hands to create ink and smoke Asian Games blockbusters, received from the athletes from all over the Asian countries to praise.
The cloud base provided by AliCloud, the official partner of the Hangzhou Asian Games, is the cornerstone that supports these innovations. This year’s Asian Games uses cloud computing to replace traditional data centers (IDC) as the Asian Games’ arithmetic infrastructure, and the core systems of the Asian Games events, including the event management system, the event performance system, and the event support system, are all run in the cloud, and upwardly support intelligent applications such as broadcasting on the cloud, and the Asian Games nail. This also makes the current Asian Games the first Asian Games on the cloud in name only and makes the intelligent process of sports events behind the Hangzhou Asian Games enter a new stage.
Behind the hard-core technology to support the ‘Intelligent Asian Games’ is a concentrated demonstration of the results of Hangzhou’s efforts over the years to build the first city of the digital economy. Hangzhou Asian Games Information Technology Command Center Commander, Hangzhou Municipal Party Committee Standing Committee, Vice Mayor Xu Weihua said. Behind these scientific and technological innovations, on the one hand, Hangzhou’s investment and accumulation in the construction of the digital economy over the years; on the other hand, it is also inseparable from AliCloud’s long-term deep plowing in cloud computing.
1. The cornerstone of realizing intelligent Asian Games
In competitive sports events, access to real-time scores is crucial for the media, athletes, and spectators. Whether it is the athletes on the field and on-site audience, or through the TV, cell phones, and other online viewers, are eager to grasp the progress of the game and the latest score for the first time. Timely and accurate score information not only affects the on-site atmosphere but also relates to the effect of the TV broadcast and webcast. At the Asian Games, on-site, the 5.5G network is used, so there is no need to worry about the crowd affecting the signal; online, through the cloud broadcasting technology of Aliyun, the audience can enjoy ultra-fast and ultra-clear live broadcasts on the cloud, and real-time results of the game can be received in only 5-6 seconds.
This year’s Asian Games, the event core system for the first time to realize the game information second distribution service, for the media, delegations and the audience and so on to provide the information in the stadium directly to the experience. This is the fastest and most practical distribution of results at any comprehensive Game in the world. Previously, in the Tokyo Olympics and Beijing Winter Olympics, the core system on the cloud and the broadcast on the cloud had been realized in phases. 2021 Tokyo Olympics for the first time used AliCloud to support the global broadcast, the Olympics took an important step towards digitalization; in 2022, AliCloud supported the Beijing Winter Olympics to become the first Olympics on the cloud in the history of the Olympics, realizing that 100% of the core system was on the cloud, and digitization was one step further.
Now, with the successful experience and technology of serving the two Olympics, Aliyun is helping the Asian Games to achieve a higher level of digitization and intelligence while inheriting and carrying forward the technological precipitation from the Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Hangzhou Asian Games was the first Asian Games to be broadcast on the cloud, with a total of more than 5,000 hours of live broadcast. In order to support the Hangzhou Asian Games, AliCloud began preparations two years ago. Through the on-demand elastic deployment of cloud resources, various other systems were put online in batches from the second half of 2021, and the overall time was shortened by 15%; after the announcement of the postponement of the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2022, Aliyun engineers immediately released about 70% of the cloud computing resources for downsizing, including servers, storage, databases, and so on, and then transferred back to the resources after the Asian Games had re-entered the preparatory period. Through the elastic deployment of cloud resources, AliCloud saved nine months of resource investment for the Asian Games.
During the Asian Games, the three core systems of the event, including the event management system, the event performance system, and the event support system, were deployed on the cloud computing platform, realizing the interconnection of data and systems. The three core systems covered a wide range of areas spatially, including 54 competition venues, the main media center, the Asian Games Village, and non-competition venues such as the ITCC, and the service targets covered more than 100,000 registered users from more than 40 countries and regions.
In addition, in the presence of the organizing committee’s technical officials, the cross-availability disaster recovery drill completed the overall switchover of the three major system groups within ten minutes, and the whole process was smooth and reliable. During the judo competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games, when there was an extreme scenario of more than 800+ messages/minute, the core system of the event still ran smoothly, and stability and reliability were verified in practice.
The cloud computing platform is like a brain, which gathers all the key data of the tournament, such as players’ registration information, tournament scores, transportation and accommodation arrangements, etc. These data are like neurons. These data are connected like neurons through open interfaces and provided to the public in a standardized format. With the support of the cloud computing platform, the digital construction of the entire Asian Games is like a huge neural network, making event management and services more intelligent and efficient. Through the event management system’s registered personnel data, Hangzhou Asian Games completed the online innovation business of electronic identity registration cards within 1 month. Whether it is the smart Asian Games one-stop pass and other online service applications, or the Hangzhou Asian Games Village Intelligent Operation Platform, the Information Technology Command Center monitoring system, can be like other parts of the brain, from the cloud to call these open data interfaces, to get their own need for information, to achieve further intelligent services.
With the cloud platform as the cornerstone, a series of convenient and innovative software applications have been launched for this year’s Asian Games. Part of them are directly related to the Asian Games competitions, such as schedule scheduling, competition registration, and release of competition results. The other part provides support for event security, including registration management, transportation management, accommodation arrangements, and medical services. The coverage and functional diversity of the core system provide a solid technical foundation and support for the success of the Asian Games and the needs of the participants. In addition, AliCloud also built a set of event core architecture and monitoring systems for the Asian Games with high availability within a single availability zone and cross availability zone content disaster, realizing alarms to be discovered first, located early, and disposed of quickly, and guaranteeing stability and reliability throughout the entire period of the event.
The core system of the tournament not only meets the needs of personnel, venues, and events, but also realizes e-commerce level high availability and disaster recovery in the architecture and monitoring system, designs and completes many scenario-based practical drills such as disaster recovery drills, high availability tests, performance tests and flow-limiting drills, technical drills, and tests of multi-sports events, and builds more than 1100+ monitoring indexes to realize 100% early discovery of alarms and early disposal. Dozens of business contingency plans were formulated and practiced, which comprehensively and effectively verified the availability and reliability of the event’s core architecture and monitoring system.
Comprehensive cloud computing also allowed the Asian Games to better fulfill the slogan of Green Asian Games. After the Asian Games, the event systems were taken offline one after another, and the cloud resources could then be released to provide support for other work. Compared with the traditional data center model, cloud computing is more flexible and efficient, avoiding the duplication of building and temporary dismantling of the server room to cause waste at the same time, shortening the application development and deployment time, realizing the sharing of hardware and software resources, significantly improving the efficiency of resource utilization, and also bringing leapfrog progress for the broadcasting of sports events.
2. AI-enabled intelligent Asian Games scenario-based application
In this year’s Hangzhou Asian Games, AliCloud has utilized its accumulation of cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and AI to deeply integrate into the Asian Games scene, empowering various intelligent applications and ensuring the successful use of scenario-based AI. About 20,000 athletes, technical officials, and media reporters will stay in the Asian Games Village this year, which means that it is quite difficult to operate and provide services. Hangzhou Asian Games Village and Aliyun have jointly launched Cloud on Asian Games Village, the intelligent management brain of the Asian Games Village, to solve this challenge. Through the Cloud on the Asian Games Village cloud pass system, participants can not only view today’s menu, and real-time traffic in the restaurant, book shuttle buses, and gym, but also intelligent robots Q & A, directly within the application for self-service reporting to submit personalized needs.

The feature-rich and diverse YunShangTong applet for the Asian Games Village on the Cloud provides all-round support for the athletes’ convenient life, enabling them to better adapt to the environment and needs of the Asian Games, as well as improving the efficiency of the entire Asian Games and the experience of the participants. It is worth mentioning that there is also a Low Carbon Community module in the CloudPass app, where every athlete, technical official, and media reporter in the Asian Games Village can register for their own Low Carbon Accounts to record their green behaviors during their stay in the Asian Games Village. This is the first low-carbon account in the history of the Asian Games, based on Ali Cloud AI algorithmic capabilities, dual-carbon products, and other capabilities, through interesting interactions with the villagers to publicize and advocate a low-carbon lifestyle, so that every low-carbon behavior can be recorded in real-time and perception, to motivate everyone to actively participate in environmental protection.
From September 12 to October 5, a total of more than 15,000 new users registered for the low-carbon account of Yunshang Asian Games Village, and carbon reduction behaviors such as CD-ROM action, plastic-free shopping, green cycling, and empty bottle recycling were accumulated for more than 160,000 times, with a cumulative carbon reduction of more than 15 tons.
Cloud Pass small program, just for athletes, technical officials, and other participants of a service front, behind it, there is the Hangzhou Asian Games Village and Ali Cloud jointly constructed the cloud on the Asian Games Village intelligent command platform and operation and management backstage. Intelligent command platform using Ali cloud data warehouse, data governance, data mining, and quantitative decision analysis technology, access to more than 20 systems data, about 440 data indicators, integration of the village people, things, field, security, service, low carbon 6 major areas of real-time operational data for the management personnel, including commanders, to provide real-time data and intelligent decision-making support to achieve intelligent scheduling of resources in the village and accident and emergency response. Emergency Response. The operation and management backstage is built on the exclusive management backstage of Asian Games Nail, which provides online digital office services for staff, and also provides the possibility of timely response and processing of participants’ demands.
AI-enabled intelligent Asian Games applications are not only in the Asian Games Village but also in event broadcasting. Aliyun draws on the rich experience of the Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing Winter Olympics, and applies the experience of cloud broadcasting to the current Asian Games, cloud computing also makes the broadcasting system more flexible and improves the viewing experience. As the first Asian Games to be broadcast on the cloud, this Asian Games breaks through the previous traditional satellite broadcasting, broadcasting technology to achieve technological innovation, the realization of cloud broadcasting, which can be used for the rights-holding broadcasters on-demand to quickly open the new highway for the broadcasting of sports events to bring the freedom of the cloud broadcasting of all roads lead to Rome.
The cloud computing infrastructure provides Tbps-level elastic bandwidth, equivalent to a multi-lane highway, which can easily cope with the traffic peaks in the higher viewing hours; the dual-center redundancy architecture is like a highway backup channel, which ensures the safety and smoothness of the cloud broadcasting traffic; AI-based multi-screen intelligent processing provides personalized exits, and viewers can choose different routes and contents according to their preferences. It can be seen that by relying on cloud computing and other cutting-edge technologies, this Asian Games achieved from the traditional single ordinary road to intelligent highway broadcast upgrade. In the current Asian Games, Ali Cloud plays to its technical strengths, so that AI is truly integrated into the scene, meets complex needs, and realizes the construction of the Smart Asian Games, showing the world the great potential of scenario-based AI applications, and the same time, these successful cases also provide more reliable support for the digital transformation of sports events.
3. Opening the Cloud Era of Sports Events
With the technical support of AliCloud, this year’s Hangzhou Asian Games has realized a number of digital and intelligent innovations. Cloud computing provides an elastic infrastructure for the Asian Games, and the core systems are all in the cloud, which significantly improves the efficiency of resource utilization. The introduction of AI technology allows the data and systems to achieve in-depth fusion and supports scenario-based intelligent applications, such as intelligent management of the Asian Games Village, green low-carbon, and so on, which brings a more convenient and immersive experience of the Asian Games to the participants. This year’s Asian Games is a successful attempt and sublimation of scenario-based AI in large-scale international events and also provides valuable experience for the intelligent transformation of the sports industry. Under the continuous development of cloud computing and AI technology, digitalization and intelligence will become the new normal for sports events in the future.
Nowadays, large-scale sports events have become the centralized display stage of a country’s comprehensive strength. The wonderful duel of athletes on the field demonstrates the level of a country’s sports training and application of science and technology; the intelligent construction and operation guarantee under the field is also the centralized arena of the scientific and technological strength and cultural charm of various countries. In the arena of the new era, the Hangzhou Asian Games undoubtedly demonstrated the style of Chinese science and technology enterprises. Aliyun and other enterprises with cloud computing and AI as the core of the digital program, to help the Asian Games in the intelligent construction to achieve a number of firsts, to the world conveyed the progress and innovation of Chinese science and technology.

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