Posted by: janvozenilek | February 13, 2010

February 11, 2010 – Vancouver Olympic Winter Games

Day 2 –   After a quick breakfast with Jiri and one of
the Czech TV reporters, Jakub Bazant, we headed to the IBC. While they
figured out the morning, I had a chance to walk around and check out
the building. It is massive! Huge open corridors, tons of windows and
great views.

On thing that was well visible from the end of the building was the barrier that
was built around the International Broadcast Center as well as the Media
Center at Canada Place.  This is in place to stop any boat traffic, from coming
too close to the buildings. While I was looking out the window, I could see
bubbles of scuba divers near the support pillars of the building. They are
apparently checking these 24/7 to make sure there isn’t anything that shouldn’t
be there.  There are police patrol boats within and outside this perimeter.
The perimeter barrier it self is massive, definitely designed to stop even good
sized boats.

Last night some more crew arrived and I was introduced to Jaromir
Bauer, one of the producers that I’ll be working with.  We then left
to go to the Czech House, which is located at the Delta Hotel on the
corner of Willingdon and #1 Highway in Burnaby.  And yes, it is here
that the famous Gold Keg of Pilsner is patiently waiting. It is hand
signed by the beer makers them selves and it was quite the celebration
when they sent it off from the Czech Republic a few weeks ago.

At the Czech House, I was amazed at how elaborate the set up is.
Pretty much this entire hotel is used exclusively by the Czech Team
and the whole delegation. Czech Tourism is setup in there, and all
their various sponsors.  There are huge photos from around the country
everywhere, athlete result score boards, TV’s with live feeds from the
network… and a banquet room setup for everyone for breakfast and
dinners.   It didn’t take long to find that special Pilsner keg. 🙂

We scouted the location where we’ll be doing the two daily interviews.
Basically two chairs with a little table in the center, with a huge
poster of all the sponsors in behind.  We had to ask them to slide it
all down a bit, so we have room to bring in some lighting.

Then back to Vancouver, this time along Hastings, which has the far
right lane dedicated to Olympic traffic. And as have have one of the
VANOC cars with the right stickers, we are able to use it and thus it
was pretty quick.

We pulled up to the security in front of the IBC and were told that we
can’t get in this way, that we have to drive through a security check
point. The access to this only checkpoint was via Main Street. So back
we went and over the railway tracks where we first came across two
separate check points. Here they stopped the car, asked to see our
badges and check the correct parking access card on the car window.
We thought we were done…. then the well crafted red traffic cone
road lead us to one of these two giant tents. In front a police
officer waving us in as if we were pulling up in our private jet.
The Police officer in front of the tent then told us which of the 6
stalls to pull into. We drove up, another officer came up and told us
to put it in park, shut the car off and put the keys on the dash where
they are visible.  What proceeded after that is something that brought
me straight back to when I was 12 years old, and my family and I were
leaving the Czech Republic on our way to Canada. It was at the Hungary
/ Czechoslovakia border, where border guards swarmed our car and stripped it.
Everything was checked, all luggage pulled out of the car.  I remember
it quite vividly.   So to see about 4 officers start checking our car
with mirrors, opening the back hatch and with us sitting in the car,
started opening our bags was quite an experience!  They were all
pleasant and friendly.

Once we pulled from there, we then proceeded along Waterfront road
past Canada Place and into the IBC.   This security check was then
repeated two more times on the same day, as each time you leave the
IBC, they have to re-check the car.

The security check points at the various media centers look very
similar to the airport security checks. First thing they do here is
scan our ID card.  On the screen pops up a page with our photo and all
our info, as well as notification, whether at that moment, we should
be individually checked.  If so, it’s the ’empty your pockets’ thing,
into the plastic tray, x-ray machine, metal detector…   then the
full bag check after the x-ray. I asked and these checks are
completely random and computer generated.  I’ve been pulled in only
once so far. The other times, they just tell you to walk around the
metal detector and it goes pretty quick.  And one really noticeable thing
is that all the police and security folks are really nice and friendly, which
is a breath of fresh air, compared to some of the airport security folks
I’ve come across in the past.

Once back in the IBC, I was given my camera that I’ll be working with.
It’s a Sony PDW-700  Brand new and it is sweeeet!  It is definitely a bit
bigger then the cameras I am used to lugging around, so this next couple
weeks will definitely be a good workout!

Pretty quick we were sent to the Pacific Colosseum, to do a behind the scenes
look at the building and shoot the practice of one of the Czech figure skaters.
It was amazing how many of the full size broadcast cameras were in there with
their giant lenses.  What was actually funny, was to see the center ice cameras,
follow the skater, in perfect unison… all four of them lined up beside each other.
Aren’t they all getting the same angle?

We shot another stand-up interview on the front deck of the IBC with the nice
red glowing Olympic Rings floating out there on the water early in the evening.

Then back to the Czech House again to look at the shooting location one more time,
and confirm more details about lighting and the overall setup. We also got to pick
up our official uniforms. We got black winter jackets, pants, gloves and a tuke.
All came from one of the Czech Team sponsors, Alpine Pro and they are really
comfy and warm… not that we really need the super-winter wear at the moment.

A big delegation of over 100 people arrived at the house while we were there. They
were many of the representatives of the sponsors, Olympic Team members etc.

The day ended with having a quick bite to eat for dinner at a Sushi place across
the street from our hotel at 10:30pm!   Ahhh… bedtime!



  1. Great pics, Jan. The shot of the globe really puts things in perspective. Thanks for sharing, I’m enjoying being behind the scenes with ya.

  2. Sounds funtastic. Enjoy your once in a life adventure.
    Hope you get to lots of venues.

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