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L.A. city employees ordered to stop watching Olympics at work

July 31, 2012 |  4:41 pm

Swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the 200-meter Butterfly on Tuesday.

Olympics coverage is certainly winning gold medals at L.A. City Hall, where so many employees are watching online that the city's chief technology officer begged them to stop for fear of a municipal computer meltdown.

City tech guru Randi Levin warned employees that their love of the Olympics might be hurting the city.

"We are experiencing a high volume of traffic due to people watching the Olympics online. I respectfully request that you discontinue this as it is impacting city operations," Levin said in an  email sent to thousands by one of her assistants

City employees who saw the email warning said they were caught off guard. 

The email, which was sent Tuesday morning, came on a day when the U.S. women's gymnastics team were competing, along with the women's soccer team.

Asked about the city's struggling computer systems, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's press office referred calls to Levin.

NBC is streaming the games live online, which taxes highly-valuable bandwidth. That means computers that aren't being used for real work might be grinding at a snail's pace.


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Photo: Swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the 200-meter Butterfly on Tuesday. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times