Just before 8 pm on February 9, 2018, high in the northeastern mountains of South Korea, Sang-jin Oh was sitting on a plastic chair a few dozen rows up from the floor of Pyeongchang’s vast, pentagonal Olympic Stadium. He wore a gray and red official Olympicsjacket that kept him warm despite the near-freezing weather, and his seat, behind the press section, had a clear view of the raised, circular stage a few hundred feet in front of him. The 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony was about to start.

As the lights darkened around the roofless structure, anticipation buzzed through the 35,000-person crowd, the glow of their phone screens floating like fireflies around the stadium. Few felt that anticipation more intensely than Oh. For more than three years, the 47-year-old civil servant had been director of technology for the Pyeongchang Olympics organizing committee. He’d overseen the setup of an IT infrastructure for the games comprising more than 10,000 PCs, more than 20,000 mobile devices, 6,300 Wi-Fi routers, and 300 servers in two Seoul data centers.

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