Monday, February 15, 2010

winning gold medals

Lester Holt sighting of the day consisted of this conversation: A tired producer walks alongside Lester and says “To even figure out what day it is, you have to read it on the big white board” to which an equally tired Lester nodded and replied “yea, right.”

Ok, that wasn’t the most captivating conversation ever, but inside I’m sure Lester was composing haikus on the meaning of time.

Canada won it’s first gold medal yesterday and while the nbc staff working here is primarily American, we have a pretty big contingent of locals among us. Bilodeau won the slushy moguls with Begg-Smith in second. Begg-Smith was actually born in Vancouver but now skis for Austrailia – he’s not exactly Canada’s favorite guy. I know this because one of our Canadian producers called him a slime-sucking dicknob. I’d never heard that phrase before, but rest assured it will magically work its way into my daily conversations.

When a medal is about to be decided, somehow everyone knows to pay attention to the monitors. I don’t know how it happens, but it’s like everyone’s head somehow all shift together to the right tv in a bizarre magical trance. And that’s no small feat seeing as how there’s a gazillion tvs with 40 different feeds, some of the same sport but being broadcast maybe 30 seconds out of sync.
And THAT leads to some funny stuff because you have a host feed and then the NBC feed. Well, the NBC feed is generally about 30 seconds behind the host feed so you have to decide which one you’re going to focus on. If you pick the host feed, you get the live action. But if you pick the NBC feed, then you get the color commentary. Most people prefer to hear the commentary (since a lot of people in this room are the people who either wrote or compiled all that stuff the announcers say). So you have half the room reacting to the live feed, the other half reacting to the nbc feed – but when something happens on the live feed, everyone turns their head to see what happened. And then sometimes, you’ll hear a huge reaction on something from somewhere and you have absolutely no idea who’s cheering, what they’re watching or where it’s even coming from.

Lots of stimulation around here.

When Canada won their first gold medal, everyone started to applaud. It was a really nice moment. I love that while a medal round is happening, suddenly that sport is everyone’s most favorite sport. I mean, I don’t know squat about moguls, but last night, I was on the edge of my seat watching. Same thing when snowboarding happens – like this afternoon, we all held our breath as Seth Wescott won his second gold medal. (HUGE round of applause after that) So thank you Americans for winning medals and such – you provide nice breaks from nonstop, relentless work. Even if it’s only for 2 minutes.

Because that’s what really makes working the Olympics fun – and special. Being surrounded by a bunch of nuts that love the Olympics as much as you and light up like at a kid on Christmas over gold medals. I worked until 2am last night and was ready to pull out my hair, arms and eyeballs with frustration. But then you come in and amazing moments like that happen and the 2am crankies kind of start to fade away.

(but only kind of – if the same issues we had happen again tonight, the crankies will come back with a vengeance)
Pair’s free skate tonight! I want Shen and Zhao to win so badly that it almost hurts my soul. I was holding my breath during their short program and I’ll probably do the same during the free skate – although 4 minutes is an awfully long time to not breath. Hopefully I’ll find a few places to do that inhale/exhale thing.

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