Gilles Albaredes_27-02-12In our latest sponsor 123 feature we talk to Gilles Albaredes, the managing director of Crystal CG International, about his excitement in helping to bring the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies to life and look back on his fond memories of watching fellow Frenchman Guy Drut win gold at Montreal 1976.

What is your role in your organisation's involvement of the Games?

I am managing director of Crystal CG International, which is currently the official Digital Imaging Services Supplier to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as being an official sponsor.

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Why does your organisation support the Games?

Crystal CG's relationship with the Olympics has a long history – we have been helping to create the magic of the Games for over 10 years. The relationship began when Crystal CG produced the promotional animation for Beijing's winning bid for the Olympics. Then in 2001, Crystal was officially designated by the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee as its 3D Graphic Provider.  Crystal produced a diverse range of 3D animations for the 2008 Beijing Games, including providing digital content for the Opening Ceremonies.

Following from this success, Crystal was appointed the Official Digital Imaging Services Supplier to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2009. As such, we have been responsible for providing a wide range of digital imaging services to support marketing, branding and training for the 2012 Games. We have already helped in the architecture of the games by creating 3D visual models of the venues, brought mascots Wenlock and Mandeville to life in a series of animations and produced a raft of marketing materials for London 2012 and its official sponsors.

Crystal's animations will be featured in stadia during the Olympics to teach audiences about the sports they are watching and we will also be responsible for the digital content at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies – something we are especially proud of and excited about.  It will be a tremendous honour to be able to educate, entertain and delight the crowds at this most prestigious global sporting event.

The Olympic Games has come to represent so much of what Crystal CG is about: our passion and energy and our desire to collaborate and create extraordinary innovations. We feel that over the years, we have developed a deep connection with the Olympics, which is why we were so keen to help support the Games by becoming an official sponsor.

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What is your favourite Games' memory?

As a child growing up in France, I was a keen hurdler, competing in a number of junior level competitions. I will never forget how exciting it was to watch Guy Drut, a fellow Frenchman, win gold in the 110 metre hurdles at the 1976 summer Olympics in Montreal. It was hugely inspirational and encouraged me to compete further and strive to be better.

The 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremony was another unforgettable Olympics memory. It was a truly mind blowing event, which surpassed any previous Opening Ceremony though it wasn't until I joined Crystal that I realised who was behind this spectacular experience. I hope that in 2012 we go even further and amaze audiences like never before.