Posted by: janvozenilek | March 5, 2010

February 26, 2010 – Vancouver Olympic Winter Games

Day 17 – A very early morning today. Met out front of the hotel at 6am and drove to Whistler. The weather was terrible. Pouring rain, low clouds… it was too bad that they couldn’t experience the beautiful mountain tops of Howe Sound and the surrounding valleys.

This was my first time driving the ‘new’ highway and boy, did they ever cut a big chunk of forest out of that new section above Horseshoe Bay.  But overall the highway was really great and smooth.   There was a check point just past Squamish, where they checked that we had the right passes on the car window to be able to drive up there.

We went to a gas station at Creekside, where the downhill races are held.  We had a coffee and muffin and waited for our folks to arrive and meet us.  Once they showed up, we followed them up the hill to their rented log house. This is where the cross country ski team is staying. The house was just amazing.

We set up our interview in the living room. We brought portable banners to satisfy all the sponsors. First we shot one with all four of the athletes, then just one with Lukas Bauer. They had won bronze in the relay race yesterday. It was amazing to be able to hold his medal. It sure was heavy.  None of the metals are the same. Each has a unique design and collectively is part of a huge pictures. What a great idea.

We then headed straight back. It would have been nice to stay and see the village, but the weather was really bad and we needed to get back to deliver the disk to the IBC.  On the way, I was excited to at least take the guys to Brandywine Falls, just outside Whistler.  I’ve been there several times and it is just spectacular.  It was a complete shock to pull up to the parking lot and see it surrounded by security fencing. The police officer came up to us right away and I asked her where we can park to go to the falls. She responded that unfortunately we can’t, that it is a secure Olympics site.  What?  A provincial park 15 minutes from Whistler, in the middle of no where? Why?  She said that they are using the parking lot for deliveries and that it is a secured area and that thus the falls are too and are out of bounds.  I wasn’t in my happy place at that moment… but we peacefully left… and carried on with our trip back home.

We at least stopped at Shannon Falls in Squamish and did the short hike up to the bottom of the fall. They guys loved it.

Driving past one of my favorite historical places… BC Museum of Mining.

While driving the Sea to Sky Highway, it was interesting to see what they did at the narrow section between Porteau Cove and Furry Creek. They couldn’t widen the highway there due to the train track and the giant cliff. So what they did was paved over the train tracks and when there was no train running, used that as the south bound lane.  The regular highway was used as two northbound lanes.

We then drove straight to the Czech House to pick up some last things and have a meeting. While pulling up, we saw this in the parking lot and they were just having a laugh at the size difference between these two vehicles. They don’t quite have trucks like this in Europe.

After we got to the IBC, we brought all the camera gear in as this was going to be our last shooting assignment. Was sad to see that awesome camera go!  Jaromir getting randomly checked at security.

That evening we went to the Canada vs. Slovakia game.  Jaromir was able to get us a couple of tickets, as this was a high demand game. We walked there from our hotel.

The game was fabulous and the energy in the room just unbelievable!!

Some die-hard fans!

Newscast crew from RDS.

Newscast crew from a French TV network. These guys had this amazing tiny remote controlled camera that kept sliding back and forth.

Most of the ice-level photographers had such black shields around their lenses, so they didn’t get glare and reflections while shooting through the glass.

After the game, I stuck around for a while and just had a seat in the empty arena.  It was really mixed feelings of such joy, appreciation but now sadness, that this was going to be my last time in this Olympic venue.  I sat and watched the live taping of the four CTV Hockey guru guys, talk about the game.

Czech crew doing a standup after the game. David and Robert with Pavel behind the camera.

Another standup in the arena.

Fixing the center ice remote camera.

Even these people all play an important role in the daily success of the games… at each venue. The cleanup crew comes out full force once the people are all gone.  I wonder how many hours it takes them to clean the entire stadium.

I then left and walked to the Live City Yaletown site, where they’ve been having the nightly fireworks. I waited for nearly an hour until they began, but it was well worth it to be so close.  Really really well done!

Then the trek back to the hotel through all the thousands of fans in the streets.  The patriotism of all these people is just extraordinary. Canadian flags everywhere. Complete strangers high-fiving each other, hugging each other… really amazing!

CTV outdoor studio on Robson Street

And in the middle of all that chaos and thousands of people, on the sidewalk, was sitting this sweetheart… in his own world, carving his wooden totem poles.

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