Posted by: janvozenilek | February 19, 2010

February 14, 2010 – Vancouver Olympic Winter Games

Day 6 – Everyone slept great. They boys shared the cot. Cuties. 🙂  The previous night they all headed out and explored the city. Saw lots of the pavilions and sights. Dinner at Red Robin on Robson in the evening, with a view overlooking the busy street was a highlight for them.  They tried waiting for the popular zip line over Robson Street, but once they found out that it was a 5 hour wait, they decided it wasn’t worth it.

The boys with Myra at the Bell cube.

The gang… Alana and Courtenay with Lukas and Jakub.

Jen and Jen

I met Jaromir at 9am in the lobby and we went straight to the Czech House. We did one interview and then headed to the Richmond Oval, to watch the 3000 m womens speed skating race, in which one of the favorite Czech athletes, Martina Sablikova, was racing.  I didn’t need to film, as there was one of the other Czech crews already there. They were not allowed to film inside the oval, as that is only available to the host broadcaster CTV.  Only outside the building or in the mix zone for the media.

On the way into the Oval, we had to drive through one of those tent car checkpoints again.  I was sitting in the back seat and the officer opened the back and started going through my back pack… a pack we all received from the Olympic Broadcaster Services.  I noticed how rough he was being with the size zipper for the laptop and so I kindly asked him to please be careful. He didn’t say anything, finished his search and they let us go.  When we parked and I looked at my pack, he ended up breaking the zipper. I wasn’t impressed, and this was the first time since I’ve been here, that I was not happy with these guys!

Here are some photos I took of the Oval about a year ago. There was no ice in there at that time. Just some basketball courts. It is just massive.

Walking into the oval now, to see it all dressed up in the Olympic colours and banners and feel the energy of the room was absolutely amazing. The cheering, all the people, the ice surface, all the cameras…. WOW!   With our pass, we were able to sit in the media section.  I was really sad that I didn’t bring my better camera… so the Iphone cam had to do on this one.

The race it self was really neat. For me what was even more exciting was to see the choreography of all the cameras, the camera crane, the long track that has that super fast sliding camera on it… then all the professional photographers with their giant lenses all lined up along the sides, snapping their photos… it was the ultimate eye candy.

The Czech hockey team arrived today and they came to this race to watch. I was sitting right behind Jaromir Jagr.

The race was won by Sablikova from the Czech Republic and to feel the energy of that group I was sitting with as they were cheering for her was amazing.  I was even more excited as I got to cheer for the Canadian Kristina Groves as well. She ended up winning bronze.

We then drove downtown where I had a little break and met up with Jennifer and boys. We went into the Aboriginal House. It was an amazing show and worth the half hour wait.

We then all drove to the Czech House, so Jennifer and the boys could see where I’ve been working. It was really exciting for them to see the camera and to sit in the chairs from which all these interviews are being done.  As they were leaving, one of the Czech Olympic sponsors, GE Money Bank, was setup up front and giving out free Olympic key chains. They boys were so thrilled to be able to pick out their own. They each got the pin that matched their Olympic mascot that they got earlier today.

Rudolf Pop, me and Jaromir Bauer… with their Olympic Mascots… on loan from Lukas and Jakub. 🙂

The evening finished off there with an amazing welcome for the Gold medalist. The Czech Premier was there and had a wonderful toast and words of congratulations to her.  Martina’s coach was there as well.  They played the Czech National Anthem… it was magical.

We then quickly pulled her away from the crowd and did the interview with her. The interviews are done by a gentleman named Jaromir Bosak. He is well known sports commentator in the Czech Republic, and getting to know him over the past few days has been great. He is very funny!    In the past, there has only been one or two people behind the camera watching while we do the interviews.  With this Martina, the room was packed.  It was a absolutely surreal feeling for me, to think that this footage I am filming, will be seen, within a few hours, by millions of people in the Czech Republic.  I was feeling very blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be doing this and will never forget these moments as long as I live.

Jan Pokorny, from Czech Radio interviewing Martina.

Once we wrapped, one of executives from Czech TV, Rudolf Pop, who was there for the interview, took the disk and along with a few other people that were going back for the midnight shift, drove straight to the IBC, to send to Europe for immediate editing and broadcast.  As I was handing him the disk with two hands, I told him “here is the GOLD disk’. He smiled and said that it sure is.

They are all overwhelmingly proud of this gold medal and it was so wonderful to be there to be part of it today.

Once I got back to the hotel at about 11pm, Jennifer and the boys were still up watching the Olympics on TV and let me know that Canada just won their first Gold in mens moguls.  What an exciting day.

Jennifer and I then headed out for some desert at a restaurant next to the hotel. While there, these two girls came up to us and asked if I was with Czech TV, as they noticed my jacket.  They were originally from the Czech Republic, but now live here. They went on to share with us, how disappointed and upset they were today, while watching the Martina Sabakova speed skating race on CTV, that right in the middle of it, CTV cut to a commercial break.  The race was practically done, when the commercials ended.  Then during the flower ceremony, where the winning athletes stand on their podium, on CTV, they only showed the Bronce Canadian winner getting her medal, but then went to commercials and never showed the Silver and Gold winners at all.  They were outraged and asked if I could ask why it’s like this, that it really isn’t right. They said they’d write letters to CTV about it.

Once they left Jennifer and I talked about it, and completely agreed.  Yes this is a Canadian broadcast, and I don’t expect them to tell me the winning score of every athlete in every event, but to not show that ceremony, for each of the three winning athletes is wrong!    CTV’s ‘exclusivity’ of this event was also evident during the Opening Ceremonies, which was only broadcast on CTV.  Several people we know, who don’t have cable, were very upset that they weren’t able to watch it on CBC.   I’ll dig into this a bit more and find out what’s involved and how it all works.

What an amazing day!



  1. I felt the exact same outrage when CTV cut to commercials when Sabakova was racing. Especially since they said that she was the favorite to win, before she started skating.

    I didn’t expect them to show every skater, but if they knew that she had a good chance of winning the gold – they should have broadcast the entire race!

  2. Great day and photos.Once in a lifeti me gift.and you got to share it with your family.
    Way cool
    Any chance of seeing you if we get into Vanc.
    Call us at home or Mom’s cell.

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