Batteries for the ’84 Olympics

Johnson Controls’ batteries help ABC coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics

April 26, 1984  (PD: 201404)

The Johnson Controls’ Briefing newsletter from April 26, 1984, announced “our batteries will help ABC television cover the marathon events during the Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles.”

Johnson Controls donated thirty-two electric vehicle batteries to power ABC’s van and its on-board television transmission equipment used to cover the races.  ABC used an electric van because the Olympic Committee prohibited the use of any internal combustion engine vehicles on the marathon course, as the exhaust fumes might hinder the runners.  The van could hold a crew of eleven, including three cameramen, a commentator, three technicians, and a security officer.

In addition, Johnson Controls also provided the Gel/Cell batteries that powered two electric motorcycles that carried cameramen covering the competition.  In a side note, the 1984 Summer Games were the first to stage a marathon event for women – which was won by the American Joan Benoit Samuelson.  Carlos Lopes of Portugal won the men’s event.

Electric Van for Olympics

Johnson Controls’ batteries powered this ABC-TV electric van that covered the Summer Olympic games in 1984; the Johnson Controls logo is at the bottom right side of the vehicle, next to the rear wheel