LAUNCH ROUND-UP: Can you outrun an Olympian?



Wise words, person who runs Bill Murray’s fake Twitter account. 

But really it’s true: part of the awe of watching the Olympics is trying to comprehend just how impressive the stuff the athletes are doing actually is. So when Citi and Mojo PSG teamed up to create “Rio on the Hudson,” a free event celebrating the Rio Olympics that gave New Yorkers the opportunity to enjoy the games in style, they wanted a way to let people interact with the Olympic spirit in a more literal (and physical) way.

Enter Allyson Felix, an Olympic champion runner with a world record setting 16.36 second 150m dash. What better way to get into the Olympic spirit than by challenging her to a race? 

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To capture this experience, users raced head to head against Allyson down a 12.5 meter track flanked by a massive LED display. After a countdown signaled the race start, Allyson’s image darted across the LED wall in real time as challengers raced next to her on the parallel track. At the finish line, a sensor captured their race time and triggered a camera to snap a photo finish. The challenger then received a photo via email or text comparing their time with the Olympian’s.


The build accommodated hundreds of participants per day, with interactions automated to keep staffing needs light and the line flowing smoothly. This way, our users could focus on the task at hand, beating Allyson, which–big surprise–nobody quite managed. We guess there’s always the next Olympics.

Until then, go team USA! And if you’re looking to do something similar at your event, we’re always here to chat.