Posted by: janvozenilek | February 21, 2010

February 18, 2010 – Vancouver Olympic Winter Games

**Hot links to Google maps for all locations included on this post! Yes, it’s getting fancy! 🙂

Day 9 – Early morning today and off to IBC at 8am. Figured our our schedule and then headed to the Czech House for a couple of interviews.

Then back to IBC to drop off the disk.  Then they sent us to Cypress Mountain to cover the womens half pipe event. On the way up, we stopped at the lookout and got some great scenic footage of Vancouver. The lens on this camera is amazing. It has a doubler on it so you can get really amazing closeups.

The weather up at Cypress this time around was amazing. Clear sunny skies. Quite the contrast to the last visit.

The back of one of those super huge broadcast cameras.

The concession area and lineup.

The snowboarders get driven back up to the top of the half pipe on snow mobiles. Judging by the colour, the snow has had better days.

And here is the same Swiss crew again as the other day. That must be their designated spot.  Didn’t take long to find these guys on the internet. This reporters name is Steffi Buchli.  It’s amazing how each country has this full coverage not only on their TV networks, but now online as well.  Only unfortunate thing is that due to the Olympic copyright issues, each of those broadcasts can only be viewed by people in that country. Or at least that’s how Czech TV has it setup now.  So anyone out there want to suggest how to bypass this… I am all ears. 🙂  Would be great to be able to watch some of the stuff we’ve been filming.   For example, the page with all my interviews is here. But can’t play them unless you are hitting their server with a Czech IP address.

Our assignment was to do the post event interview with the Czech athlete, Sarka Pancochova. We were waiting in what they call the ‘mix zone’, where the media get to interview their athlete after the event.  Each athlete has to walk this stretch after their event.  We were in the ENG area, which is first come first serve.  Farther up, where the athletes walk first, are reserved, paid positions, that can only be used by that specific network and one needs to have the right arm or leg wrap to get in there.  In the case of a Gold medalist, they have to stop at each camera and do an interview. CTV of course is first in line! 🙂   Each athlete has an assigned person that takes them through this stretch and watches the time, and if the interview takes too long, they pull them along.

Our gal didn’t qualify for the finals so she only talked to us.   It was a real neat experience to be amongst all these network cameras. To the right of us was the crew from the BBC.  They had the exact same camera as us, except that they had an amazing Fujinon wide angle zoom lens on theirs.  I wanted to trade! 🙂

The crew to the left of us was from Japan. They even had sound guys with boom mics.

Jaromir doing post-event interview with, Sarka Pancochova.

While there, I was also sneaking in some Czech fans cheering footage, as they are quite short on those shots in Prague. In fact, that’s been a constant assignment, is to get more footage of fans.  Pretty hard at some of the events. But I was able to pull out a couple of Czech flags out of the stands and zoom right in.

Few more shots of the insane amount of scaffolding that is holding this giant structure up.

After the event we headed straight back to the IBC where Jaromir dropped me off with the disk and I literally ran to the office, to make into onto the already streaming UNI transfer, so that fresh footage get make it to Prague.   It was wild, that only two hours later, when we arrived at the Czech house for more filming, we saw that interview we had just shot, already air on Czech tv, which is playing on the tv’s throughout the Czech house. Those guys in Prague work fast!

I went for dinner at the food court in the Waterfront hotel. I felt like Chinese so I went up to one of the shops and ordered one of their combos.  The lady then reached for a styrofoam plate and was ready to start loading the food. I quickly stopped her and asked if they have a paper plate, or perhaps a glass plate. She said no, that they only have styrofoam.  So I said no thank you and started to walk away and I was going to find something else.  She quickly stopped me and said that she can find me a bowl in the back.  I agreed.  Few seconds later she came out with this nice big white porcelain bowl, with colourful flower designs all over it.  She loaded up my bowl, and with my wooden chopsticks, I had a great dinner.  This must have been the first time I’ve eaten from fine China, in a mall food court!! It was great!  This recent Midway Island trip has really messed me up! 🙂  In an unbelievably good way!  When I returned the bowl to her, I had a nice conversation with her about styrofoam, and it’s effects on the environment. Even their takeout boxes were styrofoam. I also shared with her about my Midway experience and why I choose not to use it.  It felt great to be able to share this story and message with one more person.

More info can be found at www.MidwayJourney.com or please visit this recent Blog post at SEED Magazine, that includes details of our expedition including an interview with Chris Jordan.

Now back to the Olympics… 🙂

On our way, we stopped next to this interesting sign on a parking meter.  Spell check anyone?… or does that word actually mean something?

We also drove next to this guy.  Just awesome!

An interesting tidbit I learned from Sarka and her coach in the car while going to the Czech house tonight, was that quite a few of the winter sport athletes belong to the International Ski Federation (FIS) Apparently the anti-doping rules are beyond ridiculous.   After each race, the gold medal winner gets automatically tested along with one other random athlete that competed in the event.  That’s as far as I thought this went.   But not quite…  the athletes have to complete ‘daily’ reports which they have to submit ahead of time to the FIS, letting the FIS know, exactly where they will be for one specific hour of each and every day.  Another words, in two days from now, you need to provide your exact coordinates for a one hour period.  At anytime, someone can unexpectedly show up and ask you for a urine test.  If you are not at that location that you specified, it is automatically as if you got tested positive.  I believe they said they have two strikes before you have to go through huge appeal process.    Sarka and her coach both feel very strongly against this program and how unbelievably stringent it is and hope that (in their own words) “Just like communism in the Czech Republic, one day it too will be gone.”

All of us in the car were quite surprised to hear this and didn’t realize it was that heavily controlled.

My good friend Bronco Hyrman came and visited me at the Czech house and I got to show him around a bit. He got there just in time so he could watch us film Sarka’s interview.   I had to ask permission to bring him in, and only if I would ‘guarantee’ that he is ‘ok’, I was allowed.  But no drinks or food… just a quick visit of the studio, they told me.

The admission fee to get into the Czech House is $95. This covers the full day.. breakfast, lunch and dinner… and all the Pilsner you can dream of.  I asked whether there is an ‘evening’ only option, if someone wanted to come in just to have a drink and visit, but their answer was no.  I find that pretty strange and the price tage of almost $100 quite steep.   My sister Michaela mentioned, that she attempted to find information about the Czech House, it’s location, admission prices etc. on the internet, but didn’t find anything.  That is pretty odd as well.

Bronco then drove me back to my hotel and we ended going for a drink at a local restaurant. It was great to see him.

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