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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Olympic Memories


The Winter Games are in full swing and it just reminds me of when I was in the Winter Games of Salt Lake City in 2002. Yes, yes my friends, I was part of the Olympics in 2002. I experienced thrills, excitement and disappointment that all the athletes felt during my Olympic times. It was as they say, a once-in-a-life-time experience.

When I interviewed for the internship I didn't know what I was getting into. I just wanted to get it so I could say "I can't, I have to go to the Olympics tomorrow." How jealous would people be? Well they were jealous once they saw my cool jacket! With "Host Broadcaster" across the back, I was part of the crowed. The people who brought you the skating scandals and record breaking events...not NBC. They bought the rights from us (just a little known fact). NBC butchered it as they do every year, but that's a different blog.

My first shock was when they told us that we would have to sit in this room (in the International Broadcast Center (IBC)) for 12 hours a day and just wait for an assignment. 12 hours? Yep.

Our first assignment was to work over at the uniform distribution center. Workers would come in and get fitted for they type of clothing they would need at their event. That was fun for the first 2 days and I had about 2 weeks of that. Then after the first 2 days, we were told we get one day off that week and that would be it...til the end of the Olympics. This was only January.

Holy Cow! I know the Olympics is this huge event, but when am I supposed to go grocery shopping? See my husband? Sleep? I realized that I was in for an "Olympic" job.

I actually hated the job I was given. It wasn't challenging or difficult but the other interns I worked with were doe heads. And when the driving crew came in looking for another driver, I jumped at the chance. And I got it. My new intern job was to sit in an even smaller room, a trailer basically that smelled like boy, and wait for a driving assignment. Sounds the same, but this time I got to go to all the venues.

This was a killer job to have as an intern. Since I was stationed at the IBC, I had an all access pass to everything. So I took advatage. I'd walk through all the Countries broadcast stations and check them out. I would get to drive up to where all the athletes were at the events. And if you asked ahead of time (and if the driving schedule wasn't busy) I could eat lunch at the venue (with all the other broadcasters and camera guys. And I could see the event from a non-spectator location. Couldn't ask for a better perk.

Another perk was most of the events were up in Park City, where my husband worked at the time. So after I would drop off my team, I'd have breakfast or lunch with him.

I saw the Canadian and Russian Pairs coming out of a press conference after the scandal at the IBC. I also saw a bunch of other medal winners leaving their press conferences. I got a massage a bunch of times, got a manicure, slept, ate lunch, watched the BNL on closed circuit t.v. (since I didn't have tickets) all at the IBC. And amazingly, no money was exchanged (except for food). Trades were made for everything else. It was the IBC Olympic way! Candy bars or lapel pins it...if we had it, we traded it.

My Olympic day's ended one week after the final medals were handed out. Tear down started immediately and my driving job was done. In that time, I had driven all over the valley and been to place I didn't even know existed. I'd gone through security about 15 times a day. I fianlly got to sleep in later than 5am. I also got a huge paycheck (I know I said this was an internship, but all the interns got paid. BONUS!) My cool jacket is still in the closet with all my Olympic memorabilia.

My medal is my identification pass. I looked cute and it said "All Access". It proves that I successfully completed my Olympic task. And with the memories I made, I'd say I won gold. Or lot's of green!

2 comments:

TonyM said...

Ya, totally jealous! I'd have given up as much and more to have done just 1/2 of what you got to do and experience. But then again, I'm an Olympic Geek.

Jessi said...

I was too, so I didn't care at first what I was doing. 2 months of work tho, phew. It was a lot.