Recently, Eugene Cernan, now retired from NASA, visited Torino, Italy as a guest of the Omega corporation, Official Timekeeper of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Mr. Cernan called his adventures with NASA and Apollo 17 "my own Olympic Games." He compared similarities between the achievement of athletes who train for years and overcome enormous obstacles to reach the Olympic Games with Apollo 17. The similarity was also evident, he said, "in the athletes desire to share an exceptional achievement with their fans and fellow countrymen and with the team that made their performance possible."
Naturally, as the guest of Omega, Mr Cernan spoke of the progress made in sports timekeeping over the years. He reflected that time was kep with stop watches when he was a youth, allowing human error, while todays timekeeping systems had virtually eliminated the possibility for human errors to impact the results. During his space missions with NASA, Mr. Cernan also wore a timepiece made by Omega.
Gene Cernans first voyage into space was on the Gemini 9 mission, launched on June 3, 1966, during which he made a record 2 hour 10 minutes space walk. He flew again to the moon in May of 1969 and returned as commander of the Apollo 17 mission, when he spent over 22 hours walking on the moon and explored 21 miles of the moons surface.
Later the same day Mr. Cernan returned to the Omega Pavilion, where he boarded a bobsleigh for a photo session and met with guests of the company and local VIPS in the Omega Lounge.
Note: Parts of this article were made possible by a press release from Omega who say, "Visitors to the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games are invited to visit the Omega Pavilion at the Galleria San Federico, Via Roma 54, Turin, Italy."