If you’ve noticed a media badge hanging around my neck in various photos during the games, the BC International Media Centre is what one of those things allows me access to. This is where the non-accredited media hang out because we can’t get the officially recognized Olympics accreditation that is controlled by VANOC.
As lacking as that might sound in terms of media access, the BCIMC was a remarkable place to work out of. Aside from the responsibilities I’ve had with the radio stations, I’m also able to plug in my laptop, process photos, and upload a lot of content on their wickedly fast internet pipe.
It is really hard to imagine what Vancouver is going to be like when everything is said and done. Canadians are so proud to be who they are, and I really hope everyone in this country maintains that sense of pride in some sort of way. In my lifetime, it’s only been times of crisis or war that I’ve seen a country come together the same way these Olympics has. It’s simply amazing. Continue reading “Vancouver 2010: Day 14 – Pin traders and our wedding anniversary”
One thing that makes it tough to enjoy the games on an everyday basis is that pesky day job. Though when done for the day, everyone seems to bolt out the door at quitting time like it’s time for recess.
In the evening, Rebecca and I ventured back down to Granville Street and into the Commodore Ballroom once again. However, this night saw the same place that hosted Club Bud be transformed into the Manitoba Homecoming Social.
Even VANOC CEO John Furlong dropped in to say a few words and give a gift of appreciation to the Premiere of Manitoba, Greg Selinger.
And even though I’ve been able to get my hand on a lot of freebies during the games, nothing will compare to the fishing lure keychain they handed out at the front door. I had a lot of neighbors growing up who took many fishing trips directly north of Iowa and over the Canadian border, so this was all too fitting.
Now, from what I understand, these “socials” are something of a trademark to Manitoba. Kind of what seems like a hoedown to me, apparently it’s common to have cheese cubes, kielbasa, other sliced meats, rye bread, and mustard served on a table for all to enjoy. And this is what appeared around the venue for the duration of the night.
Truth be told, this was the only photo I took during the entire 12th day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. It’s not that I wasn’t taking anything in or running around the city. As the rain returned to the lower mainland, there was a noticeable reduction in the amount of people celebrating downtown. Rebecca and I are still battling through colds, so it’s more comfortable to relax on the couch and let the TV bring the games to us.
What I did discover is the amount of content finding its way onto YouTube. Some of it’s official, others… maybe not so much. Regardless, I wanted to share some stuff that I’m seeing on both sides of the borders that deserves to be shared with the world because if you weren’t watching it live, you probably missed your chance to see it. Continue reading “Vancouver 2010: Day 12 – Olympics on YouTube”
At this point in the games, I think Vancouver is a little worn down from all of the excitement of what’s been going on up to this point. That’s not to say that the excitement is any less, but it just seems a little quieter.
After a pretty normal workday, it was really cool to head down into Yaletown to check out the official Flickr meetup, put on by the folks at Yahoo! themselves.
Aside from the familiar and not so familiar faces that I see at an event like this, members of the IOC were in attendance to talk about some of their efforts into the realm of social media.
More importantly, these guys were there to talk specifically about the sharing of images taken at Olympic events, which is a highly debated topic among many photographers involved with the True North Media House project.
Essentially, the IOC is endorsing the sharing of your photographs on their Vancouver 2010 Olympic Photo Group on Flickr. This maintains their stance on what you can and can’t do with the photographs taken within Olympic venues. They want you to share what you see and shoot with the world but not use them for personal profit.
Talking to the guys from the IOC, it was even more interesting to hear them talk about Sochi 2014. Essentially, what you will see in Whistler right now is being built from scratch for the Olympics in Russia. They’re tunneling from the city of Sochi to the other side of a nearby mountain where many of the outdoor events like alpine, sliding, and ski jump will magically appear by the time 2014 is on the horizon. You had to agree with them that a project like that is daunting, amazing, and scary all at the same time.
Our evening took a brief detour up to Georgia Street for a quick appearance of Rebecca on CBC Radio 3 with Lisa Christiansen. They had a great setup outside on their recently renovated concourse, and kudos to them for doing their research on their guests. As some one who works in the industry, we cannot have enough of this by on air personalities, if it not being an absolute must. All you aspiring broadcast stars should write that one down.
We wrapped up the night at the Flickr party, having a lot of fun with close friends and recounting everything that we’ve seen and has happened. I even got a free, one year pro membership extension!
It’s been a lot of fun to see how True North Media House has come together over the course of the months before the games and during. A lot of great stuff has been coming through all sorts of channels by self-accredited media contributors, documentarians, writers, bloggers, photographers, Twitter, and everything else yet to come.
This was a lot of fun to snap photos of. All of the guys in the competition were always so loose and relaxed when they were introduced during the competition. As soon as the clock started, nerves kicked in and hands were a little shaky as they whipped up drinks while the clock was ticking. It attracted quite a crowd to just watch from the bar area.
Running across town with minutes to spare, we joined up with a gathering of True North Media House folks at The Edge in Gastown to catch the USA vs. Canada men’s hockey game.
None of my photos turned out from there, probably from the excitement of the game. I’ll be completely honest, and witnesses can attest, my American roots took hold and I cheered, quite loudly and visibly, each time the USA scored.
I want Canada to do well in these games, but there isn’t anything I can do about my years of a born and raised American. And if it weren’t for these games, a lot of people wouldn’t have known this about me. After discovering this fact, I’ve often been told that I’m the nicest American they’ve ever met.
Yeah, we’re all not that bad if you give us a chance.
Still, after the U.S. won 5-3 over Canada, it’s my fault. All of that Canadian hospitality you often hear about seems to disappear when it comes to hockey. But if you buy the next round of beer, you might be able to mend the international relations.
One of the notable houses during the last few Olympics has been Club Bud, run by Budwiser and often a mecca for celebrities and athletes. Rebecca secured a spot on the red carpet for NHL Night at Club Bud, so I got to tag along as her photographer.
Shooting a red carpet is certainly nothing compared to an event. In this case, I was standing in one spot for about two hours while in another for another hour and a half. There’s not much moving around or space to shoot various angles other than holding your camera out and shooting as many frames as you can to hope that a few turn out.
At a certain point, you can only go so hard and see so much because let’s be honest, this is the Olympics. The games are what this is all about, so it was really nice to have a down day and watch some events like ski jumping, hockey, or cross-country skiing.
Denman Street in the west end of Vancouver has been pretty neglected during the games so far. We were able to have dinner at Poncho’s, normally very popular on Saturday nights, with very little wait.
I even did a photowalk down the west end loop over to Davie the other night to see what was going on. I haven’t posted any because I didn’t snap a single one. It’s pretty quiet.
Granville Street on the other hand…
It’s a party pretty much the entire night through.
Getting caught up with some of Olympics adventures, it’s kind of tough to back track to everything that’s gone on. I have plenty of photos from the weekend to show how we kept pretty busy that making any posts or even getting through my photos proved tough.
Long lines. Basically this is what you get for pretty much anything you want to get into and has a price tag of free on it. The zipline is one thing, but various houses all seem to have a wait time to get inside.
Word has it that the LiveCity in Yaletown had people forming a line for the next day as it closes down at 11PM every night, but I can’t be sure one which days or for what acts.
Buskers and street performers are making a killing with as crowded as downtown has been and how nice the weather was.
I had a fairly standard work day but found myself working down at Robson Square with one of the stations for an afternoon drive live broadcast. Our view looked right onto the ice rink in the photo above.
It might seem that we’re fans of the House of Switzerland, which we totally are, but I was invited to come spend the evening watching the Canada vs. Switzerland men’s hockey game from their location on Granville Island.
Now as you can imagine, the atmosphere to watch this game is exactly how you would picture it. All Canadian hospitality was thrown out the window when it came to this game.
It was pretty cool when representatives from the Swiss House came around with free hats for everyone in the bar area, which no one argued about putting on because everyone loves free stuff. However, when the Swiss scored their first goal, the Canada fans were quick to start throwing their free hats at anyone cheering for the Swiss.
And then the moment when Switzerland tied up the game at 2-2.
This place was pumped up for the game from the start. I shot a little video from the inside to capture at least a little bit of the chanting wars that really never stopped by for a handful of minutes at a time. It’s a little shaky and dark, but it was the crowd that I was really trying to capture.
As the story goes, the game went all the way to a shootout, and to say people were holding their breath is an understatement. In fact, they were putting their heads in their hands, biting their napkins, and sipping furiously from their glasses of beer.
And that’s just the Swiss fans. I don’t think my own mother would like it if I told you what the Canada fans were saying. At least the 3-2 win made them happier, and the Swiss fans took it all in stride.
Many thanks to Jennifer from the House of Switzerland for making this experience another one of my many highlights of these Olympics in Vancouver. If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the Swiss House, of course I suggest you check it out!