Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 17

Last night was my first real work party. It was really weird not seeing everyone in their smurf blue ski outfits. I actually didn't recognize some of them because that is all I've ever seen them in. It was really good to see everyone happy and normal though because a lot of times people can be rude at work because they are so stressed. The food was really good (and free ;) and everyone was in a good mood because our venue has gotten a lot of good recognition for our performance and we were almost done. I left after about 2 hours though because everyone was taking full advantage of the open bar and I really didn't feel good. So I laid on my friend's bed before finally making it to my own.
Today was exciting. A lot of people were regretting their decisions they had made last night but everyone was putting on a good face because it was our last day on the venue. Even broadcasters were in a good mood. The USA ended up getting gold, which was so exciting! My bobsled buddy wasn't on the winning sleigh but he was happy nonetheless and gave me a huge and signed my accreditation. I also saw Mellisa Hollingsworth (5th in women's skeleton) again and got her to sign my accreditation but then I accidentally wiped it off before it dried (that made me really sad). Oh well.
After work, I went to the Usher concert with my friend, Vera. It was really fun. I really like Vera so I was glad to spend my last night in Whistler with her. I now need to finish packing so I can catch my 3 am bus to the airport :(
This has been such an incredible opportunity and growing/stretching experience. I didn't make as many contacts as I would have liked due to the nature of my job but I worked with some really great people and it was very interesting to see how an event this size is put on. Thank-you guys for all your support through e-mails and comments. They helped a lot. See some of you soon.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My friend, Liz, and I waited this morning for an hour in line for mittens. Then the Olympic store told us we were only allowed to buy 2 pairs of mittens. I was like, "Excuse me. I just waited in the cold and I can only buy 2 pairs?" Oh well. Kind of sad but no worries because I'm going again tomorrow so I can get some more for you guys haha.

Work was okay today. It was cold and there were 6 crashes so the competition took longer but it wasn't too bad. One of the USA bobsledders waved to me (we're definitely friends) and a German sledder asked me to "look at" his helmet (what?). "Can you look at my helmet,? I have to go inside." Oh you mean look after it. Sure thing Mr. Athlete.
I saw Amy Williams, the gold medalist in skeleton, up in the start house today. I thought she was pretty cool so it was exciting to see her again.

Our crew has a party tonight. We've done so well during the games and especially with our rough beginning that they are paying for our dinner (and drinks- which I will not have any of). It's kind of exciting to get free food :) So I'm off to get ready for that.
Love you guys. I only have 1 more day of this exciting adventure. I really think I've learned a lot in the last few weeks. I've been stretched and put outside of my comfort zone so much but I think it was a really beneficial experience. I am looking forward to seeing your beautiful faces, though.

Day 16

2 side notes unrelated to anything else.
1). I don't know how the volunteers do it. They are working just as long as we are but we get paid. I have a new respect for them.
2.) No wonder God gave us a day of rest. Just one day helps change your perspective and not feel so overwhelmed. Today was good.

I had the day off today, which was such a blessing. My friend, Liz, and I had a unsuccessful mitten mission but no worries we have a plan tomorrow.
I got to take a nap and hang out with friends in the village. It was a really low key night, which is exactly what I needed. We got caramel apples for dessert and they were so good.

2 more days of work and then back to Ol' Kentucky.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 14 and 15

Sorry dear friends and family for the wait. The last few days have been full of stuff so I am just going to try and summarize in a couple quick lists.

We went to Vancouver again and it was so beautiful. The sun was shining and we walked along the English Bay (I believe). It was breathtaking.

1. On Monday, seven of us had the day off so we went to Vancouver. It was so much fun and a beautiful day to do it. We walked around part of Stanley Park (it's a 1000 acre park in Vancouver) and then some of us ended up renting bikes and others went to the aquarium in the park. It was so fun. I love bike riding so I was in that group. There were four of us so we got one 2-seater bike (tandem bike) and 2 regular bikes. I tried the tandem bike with my friend Will and it was hard at first but I really liked it. We biked on the sea walk (which overlooks the English bay) and looked at glorious images. The only problem was Stanley park is huge and the bike path is one way. So when we wanted to turn around so we could get our bikes back to the shop in time, we got a lot of stares and comments because we were going the wrong way. I didn't like that part of the ride but everything else was good.

This is a hot spot to see in Vancouver. It used to just be an industrial park/ship yard that wasn't very pretty but they (I don't know who "they" really is) decided to make it useful and prettier. So now there is a fresh produce market on this island and lots of interesting little restaurants.

You probably can't tell but this door was actually half the size of a normal door. It was the kid entrance (hence the sign) into the "Kid's Market" and it was right beside the normal door. This was on Granville Island.
Vancouver (the Yaletown district) at night... awesome is what I call it.

The view from my professor's apartment.

2. During the day in Vancouver, a couple of us got to witness to a co-worker of mine who came with us. I've been praying for this girl for the last week so I was glad that the door was partly opened but I still have an unsettled feeling by how the conversation ended. I think this girl is searching so I hope that in the next couple days I can plant some more seed in her life.

3. We decided to stay in Vancouver late so we could see the fireworks over the bay break right in front of my professor's 30th floor apartment. It was amazing. The bummer was we didn't get back to our hotel in Whistler until 2:30 and we had to be on the bus by 8:30. (I felt bad for my friends because their call time got changed from 3pm to 8:30am during Monday and they didn't find out till we got back late that night. I on the other hand was already scheduled for a 8:30 call time so I knew what kind of day was ahead of me). At least the fireworks were awesome.

4. Last night, one of my friends got me a ticket to the medal ceremony concert, which just happen to be The Fray. It was really fun.

5. The last 2 days have been nice because we have gotten breaks in the middle of the day. We go in for Men's upcoming event training and then get a 2-3 hr break and then go back for the 2 Women's competition heats. But that little break in the middle really helps especially yesterday when I desperately needed a nap.

6. I brought easy mac, ramen noodles, and bought oatmeal so that I could spend less money eating out. So for the last 14 days I have been heating water in the coffee maker so that I could use it to make those items. (We don't have a microwave because there weren't any left. I am just on a waiting list to get one in our room). Anyways I just figure out that we have a water heater in our room yesterday. So basically I'm so ghetto and retarded but at least I found it out now versus later. It works so much better than heating water in the coffee maker.

7. I got to see Mellisa Hollingsworth (5th place in Women's Skeleton) and Alex Bilodeau (got 1st gold for Canadian in 2010 games in Men's Moguls) at my venue tonight. I even said hey to Mellisa because I recognized her but then realized that I didn't know her so I kept on walking.

8. I was disappointed when the USA team at my venue got bronze instead of silver tonight. At least it was Canada who beat them and not Germany, who has been dominating our venue.

8. I get another day off tomorrow because there are no competitions at our venue. I'm super excited because I need to get souvenirs and just want to chill. I might even get to go snow tubing :)

9. My friend just informed me that George Clooney is in fact not staying at our Fairmont but at the Fairmont in Vancouver, which is also apparently where Michael Phelps is staying too. Bummer.

In case you forgot what Michael Phelps looked like.
(2 things: A) do you know how hard it is to find a picture of Michael Phelps with a shirt on and not in a speedo? B) No, I didn't make this picture/word/background combo- I found it on google. It's the only photo I didn't take in this post.)

Okay, I'm tired and hopefully will talk to you guys soon.

I'm still here

I haven't forgotten about you guys or letting you know what's going on here, I've just been busy the last few days. Hopefully I can post something tonight. Sorry this is going to be such a tease.
Thanks for everything guys, I have to run off to work now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 12- Famous people and mooching

I was suppose to go with some friends to get mittens this morning but had two minor problems. My alarm (my ipod) got turned on p.m. instead of a.m. and then when I did wake up it was on eastern time so I thought I had missed the meeting time but really I hadn't :( So I went back to bed so I guess that was good too.
We had a late call time today because they delayed the start time by 2.5 hours because the weather was too sunny for the ice. This last event is really hard on the ice so it definitely matters if it's sunny or not.
It was just one event tonight and then training so it was short, which was nice. I got to go home before the training was done so that was even nicer.
It's getting hard to motivate myself because I'm just plain tired but I've had a lot of encouragement from our devotions (the professors made a little devotion book for us) and from the many e-mails and comments I've gotten from you guys (thanks). So today I really didn't want to work but it actually was a really good day. I was at the start house the whole time and although it was busy it was manageable. The surprise of the day was actually that overnight they had moved our camera positions (that we spent a lot of time measuring and marking out) by moving the barricades 2 feet from the end of the tent (to fit in all the team's equipment). The barricades were at least 4 or 5 feet from the end of tent yesterday so that was a bit stressful to figure out how to fit camera crews in said spots but my boss is pretty good at her job and smoothed things over with the broadcasters.
I got to stand at the end of the track and talk to a security guy the whole time. We're friends now haha. He helped me get 7 pins today. He works at Lake Placid Bobsled events so he had a bunch of Lake Placid pins. When a coach would hesitate to give me a pin then he would chime in and give them one of his pins so I could get one. It was awesome teamwork. I got a Team USA and 2 Aussie pins, which were the most exciting and ones I've really wanted! Also if he saw a camera person in a place they weren't suppose to be he would let me know so I could take care of them. And he would point out famous people to me like the Prime Minister of Saxon and Prince Albert of Monaco were there today. I laughed at the Prince's joke so we're probably friends now.

This is the Prince but he defintely didn't look like this today. He was wearing a ball cap actually due to his balding head.

Oh and apparently George Clooney and the Prince are staying in our hotel because it's that awesome (thank-God I'm not paying for my accomodations). Cindy Crawford was here the other day. Some of my friends saw her when they were catching the bus. I just hope I get to see Mr. Clooney even though I know it's impossible and improbable haha.we all know what George Clooney looks like but who doesn't want to see him again, eh?

Okay well, I'm off to bed so that I'm rested for the day tomorrow in Vancouver. I have the day off but we're trying to make the 8'clock bus for Vancouver for site seeing. I think it will be fun. Ciao.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 11

Some photos for your enjoyment. I only worked 3 hours today, which was awesome. It was just training this morning so not that tough and then I got to do whatever I wanted. It was fun. I got to see some friends, skype my lovely family, and do window shopping.

This is the retarded stack of keys that my boss hands to me some mornings to unlock the 25ish commentator booths. It's hard to find the right key sometimes.

These are the bibs that I hand out to broadcasters. The one on the left is the one I lost the other day. It's pretty important because the red stripe means the broadcaster can film in the spots near the athletes. If they don't have it then security kicks them out of the area.

Gondola ride down to the village :)

My hotel from the Gondola. Pretty cool, huh?

A cool view coming walking into the village.

this is my new awesome Jamaican bobsled t-shirt. I love it already haha (yes, this picture was taken in the bathroom with the self-timer on the camera. Don't hate. No one was around. And yes I know it's wrinkled at the bottom but I wasn't going to take another one.)

This is one of my favorite pins that I've collected over the last few days. I smiled at the coach a bunch to get this one. I like it because A) It's from Liechtenstein ( I could stop there but I will go on...) B) This is only the third year they've ever been in the Olympics for bobsled (the last time was in 1956 C) It was the first pin I got from a coach ;) (I'm aiming for Australia, Ireland, and the USA next)
I bought these next two but they're so cute who could resist? Not me.

Tomorrow should be a fairly short day but they moved back the start time so now I am missing my friend's birthday dinner. Oh well. Happy 21st Kindra! It's your golden birthday and you're at the Olympics. You're awesome!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

day 10

I am exhausted. I had another 12 hour day so I really can't remember all that went on today. I lost a bib for right's holders that had my bosses a little worried/annoyed with me, which didn't feel good. But I later found it so I think I'm out of the dog house for the moment. I'm getting to know the USA team from the 3rd event at my venue, which is really fun. My bosses are teasing me about how much I talk to them (which really isn't that much time lol). My boss radioed up to see if I was okay at the start house and after I said yes, she asked if I had talked to the team yet haha I smiled at one, I said. She just laughed.
The track in Whistler is said to be the fastest in the world so they are still having problems with crashes in trainings and safety concerns. Actually 2 out of the 3 Swiss teams pulled out of the 3rd event. It's crazy because they are supposedly the best (according to my American athlete friends).
The events tonight were really exciting. They were the final 2 heats for both women and men and they were very enjoyable to watch. The fans here are so fun. Tonight a guy dressed in a full body spandex (Asbury, think BJ Pugh but gold instead of green) suit that was gold colored and ran around with a Canadian flag to cheer them on to get gold. It was great.
A lot of people drink here including fans and co-workers, so I've been asked to go out to drinks and party a lot. Even tonight while I was working, there were 5 Canadian guys who each had 2 beers so they offered me some. I said no thanks but it's just crazy how much people like to party. The gold medalist from the men's event was shown down in the village celebrating his victory with a pitcher of beer. I find it rather ridiculous.
One thing my roommate and I were discussing tonight was how interesting it is to watch the Olympics on a Canadian channel and get their perspective about the games. We sometimes watch the western feed of NBC but mostly the Canadian channels because they have more events (that we want) on. They show their athletes a lot so sometimes I begin to think of them as "mine" too. It's interesting. The main difference between NBC and CTV and the coverage of the games is that NBC shows a lot more of the backstory of the athletes while CTV just shows the event.
Anyways, I have to work in the morning and I'm so exhausted that I can't think of stuff to write. I just wanted to write a little something to keep you guys updated.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 9- a time for everything

There are 2 terms that I may have mentioned but probably not explained.
pin- Pins are very popular at the Olympics. Teams, broadcasters, organizations, and whoever else (even us Asburians) make pins for the Games and give or trade them with different people. Many people collect pins from past Olympics and trade to get newer ones (some people are very obsessive about the pins). You usually get a pin for doing something nice for someone or just as a nice gesture from one person to another. It's another way to bring people from different cultures closer together. (I will show you the pins I have collected in the next few days)
bibs- there are bibs, armbands, or sleeves that are different colors and coded depending on who has them. The bibs are basically oversized pennies (ones used in sport practices) and are used to make sure people are where they are suppose to be. We give bibs out to broadcasters who are filming in certain positions to keep track of how many spots we have left and it makes it easier to spot the crews in case they aren't where they are suppose to be.

Today was very loooong. I worked 12.5 hours so my mood about the whole thing kept changing. Sometimes I was very annoyed with broadcasters and just kept thinking, "I'm watching professional sledders". While other times, I was just so excited to be apart of everything and meet the neatest people.

My friend Vera and I were the only jr. Liason officers this morning so our first task was to unlock about 25 commentator booths. This was a very retarded task because the keys are in this huge bunch with all these labels on them that get to be very confusing. How you know what key to use is based on the number on the door handle but they aren't in any kind of order. At one point we got to this door and the label for the key was there but there was no key. I don't know how they ended up getting that door unlocked for the commentators because I was sent off to the starting house before we were done that task. ( I will have to get a picture of our bunch of keys later for you guys).
On the way up to the start house I saw a Liechtenstien pin and instantly wanted it but I chickened out asking the Liechtenstien people when I saw them. At the start house I kept thinking about the pin, so everytime I saw the coach I smiled at him. Eventually he sent over someone to give me a pin. I was legit excited haha.
The broadcasters this morning were not very happy with the spots they were allowed to film in. They kept trying to get me to let them film else where. Some were nice about it and some weren't. I didn't really like it at all.

Some broadcasters make me feel like that ...
When they are like that...
I got to meet 2 pushers from the USA 4-man bobsled team. They were so nice. I asked them where they were from and the one said Chicago.
"Oh my boyfriend is from there. Yay, I'm so excited. Where are you from? (I asked the other one)
" California."
I smiled. " Oh cool."
"Nothing? No, I have family there. Or I've been there? Anything?"
"Yeah, I've never been there. I can't help you out at all....... Well, I want to go there. Does that count?"
"Okay, I'll take that."

I asked them about the sport since I'm not very familar with a lot of the winter sports. It was very interesting. They told me that it's all about the start. The time lost in start is multipled by three with how much time you'll be behind at the end. You need strong, fast pushers and a good driver. It use to not matter if the driver was a good pusher but the sport is now a lot more competitive so the driver needs to also be a strong pusher too. It was all cool to learn, I hope I can talk to them tomorrow too.
I've found that these next two sports have friendlier teams and coaches. Tonight, I was freezing at the start house so one of the Korean coaches brought me hot chocolate. He was so nice.
I have another long day tomorrow so I don't know when I'll post next. Hopefully the broadcasters won't be mean. I got yelled at a couple times today, which is just wearing when I have such a long day.
Love you guys. Thanks for all the prayers and nice comments.

Yesterday (Day 8)

Dear faithful readers of this blog,
I am sorry that my post was a tease to you. The internet wasn't working this morning so I didn't realize that it had posted.

Anyways yesterday was beautiful. It was one of the first clear days since I got here over a week ago. I could see all the mountain tops and the weather was so pleasant. I loved it.

This is from down in the village.

My roommate (Kirsten) and I in front of the Olympic rings. A load of people were getting their pictures taken here haha. It was crazy.

The guy on the left is Armin Zoeggeler's coach (my favorite slider from Italy) and I have no idea who the guy on the right is.

This was a candy apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. It looked amazing.

This was my splurge for the day. I bought a Snicker's candy apple (sooo good) and split it with my friend, Will. He said I was the best friend ever haha ( if all I have to do is share food with someone to be the "best friend ever" then that's fine with me ;)

Work was pretty easy yesterday. I only had to work 3-8. I was in the mix zone for half the time and the office for the rest. The mix zone is not my favorite because it's usually busy and broadcasters can be crazy. But there are some good things about it. It's at the finish line so you can watch the big screen of the race and the athletes are usually nicer at the end and not as intense/focused as they are at the start house. The office has become by favorite, though. You get to stay warm, watch the whole race, and you're usually only busy when you have to deliver start lists and results between heats. It's nice.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 7

Has it really almost been a week? I feel like I'm in a time zone out here. I never know the date, time, or even the day. I thought today was Thursday for some reason.

I slept into today which was nice but I didn't feel that great today for some reason. My head and back were hurting. I didn't have to go to work till 2 so by the time I got there, the competition runs had already started. I just had to sit in the bio (broadcast information office) all afternoon, which was nice since my head was killing me and I didn't have any medicine with me. I was in there to answer the phone (which didn't ring at all), answer questions, and deliver results/start lists to all the commentator booths/trailers (there are about 25 booths and 3 trailers). The commentator booths actually smell really bad (usually a really weird plasticy smell or really strong smoke...weird if you ask me) so I kept holding my breath when I opened their doors haha.

I was suppose to stay until 11 because Skeleton had 2 training heats of both men and women (so 4 training heats total) but my bosses decided we could all go home at 8. We're just there if broadcasters are there and there was one Aussie crew coming at 8:30 for some reason so we passed on the information to security and skedaddled out of there. My bosses had been there since 9ish so they were ready to leave.

I think I'm going to like the Skeleton. It looks really cool. If it's on, you guys should check it out. Tonight, I was at the start house for training, which was really low key so I got to see a lot of the athletes. I'm excited.

Yesterday I was the tourist Part 2

Couple facts about Vancouver: Rated as #1 livable city because it always has activities going on.
It is like NYC so a lot of movies are shot there because it's cheaper.
It is even called Hollywood North.

Yesterday in Vancouver, my professor gave us a tour of the media center where he is stationed. He gets to work with the legends of the industry. He was showing us around and everyone seems very low key, it's not until you get to know them that you realize how talented they truly are. He kept pointing people out and would whisper to us what they were known for (he's the vice president of NBC, she designed all the look of the graphics for the games, he designed the graphics machine that everyone now uses, he decided where every microphone/audio piece would go in each venue- stuff like that haha). It was really neat. My professor is really talented and very knowledgeable. I just kept smiling and tried to take it all in like a sponge.

The torch looked really cool so there are a couple pictures of it. We took a ton haha. Sorry if the lighting is bad but I don't feel like fixing it at the moment.

The Olympic rings :) (oh our professor told us the floating wood has a net underneath it to stop submarines....

Us touching the torch and laughing at the people behind the fence haha.. we're jerks, I know.

The hoards of people behind the fence.
Had to get a jumping picture.
These guys know what's up. They were being pushed down the road in a bobsled. So fun.
My sweet brother looked up Vancouver and told me some cool stuff to see. He said Vogue Theater was really cool so when I saw it down the street, I was really excited. It's an old theater and actually now they are showing the Olympics on a big screen they set up. It was really neat to see.
I just wanted to be silly Vancouver looked really cool. It had old stuff amongst all the new stuff. Also you could see the mountains in the background sometimes, which was so amazing to me.

Everyone in Vancouver had those mittens I really want. I was becoming really green with envy. Then I saw the Olympic superstore and they had mittens. I was so excited until I saw the line to get in. The store was huge and the line went all the way down the outside of it. I was so sad, especially when I saw this tempting window display. You are so mean, Olympic store. We're fighting unless I can get those mittens at the Whistler affiliate tomorrow.
This is my friend, Kindra. She is awesome. The fun thing about the Olympics is that you get to know people you have known about for the last 3 years of school. She was given those two pins by broadcasters and apparently they are the most sought after pins of the Olympics. It's surprising how obsessive people get about the pins. My professor offered to trade her the top pin for 3 or 4 pins. He then said she could probably sell them on ebay for $50. Crazy times. She was telling us about them and was said, " A grown man probably designed both of these pins." One has pikachu one it.
I kept seeing these hats in Vancouver. They are so cute but are $30. I don't think I'll be getting one even though the racoon and moose ones are my favorites.