Busy day today. Started off brilliantly with a tour of the International Broadcast Centre at Canada Place. The IBC is housed in Vancouver’s gorgeous new convention centre overlooking the harbour. It’s where the Canadian consortium of CTV and Rogers (owners of FLARE) have come together to produce television, radio and digital content for the Games. And what a place!
I won’t overwhelm you with all of the details. Suffice to say that over 1400 people work here to produce hours of content on every single Olympic event. My first stop was a peek into CTV’s studio where Lisa Laflamme was preparing for her next on-air appearance. The spectacular view is incredible but I couldn’t help but notice the 152” plasma tv next to her – it’s a prototype created by Panasonic. Imagine that in your family room! The morning crew call is 1am Vancouver time so the news can start hitting the air in Toronto by 6am Eastern time. Basically everyone is working around the clock to make sure we don’t miss a single medal performance.
I looked inside the central equipment room, the nerve centre of the whole operation. It’s a massive room packed with cables and equipment – four back-up systems are ready in case of a power failure. Everyone was super friendly and they didn’t look exhausted – remarkable considering the long hours they’ve invested to bring us top quality content.
Outside I passed fans dressed in team gear and lots of Olympic pin sellers. Not much interest to me but big business with some very passionate collectors.
My big event of the night was the men’s 1000m final in speed skating. I know nothing about the sport but it was phenomenal. Posting the fastest times on ice in any sport, these guys whiz around the track on the sharpest of skates. I loved it – and lost my voice screaming like crazy for the four Canadian skaters – and then American Shani Davis who captured the gold. I liked the Japanese outfits the best – they looked like golden bullets flying around the track.
Tonight, I’m stopping by THE lounge of the Games – the Molson Canada Hockey House. I’m looking forward to some live music and good food. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting silver medalist Jenn Heil and then going to two hockey games.