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Bing goes for gold with Winter Olympics athlete and event tracking

Bing has set out its stall for the podium top spot in search coverage of the current Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Over at Google, the search engine giants are ploughing into the political debate surrounding the event, with a rainbow-coloured Google Doodle and extract from the Olympic Charter, both of which have been interpreted worldwide as a subtle protest against Russia’s stance on gay rights.

But Bing have steered clear of the political minefield, instead adding to their search engine’s core functionality with athlete and event tracking.

On Bing UK, type in the name of a participating athlete, and you will be given a summary of their recent events and training sessions, providing an at-a-glance guide to each individual’s performance.

Switch to Bing US and the functionality is extended still further, with a more in-depth look at the individual’s past and upcoming event schedule.

Athlete searches will also yield a new ‘timeline’ in the right-hand column, summarising that individual’s past career highlights Wikipedia-style.

And if you search for an event, you will be presented with a schedule that is not limited to any one participant.

Finally, search for ‘Winter Olympics medal tally’ and Bing will show the latest totals, which can also be filtered by nation or individual athlete.

The innovation is another step forwards for Bing, whose approach to Universal Search continues to make them a ‘decision engine’, while Google typically combine separate search types on one or more results pages without significantly restructuring the available information.