On to the track and field

Now that Ceremonies are over it’s time to set up for Track and Field. For the most part there is not a lot of work to do, we have some cables to run and we had to move some cameras around but it’s been pretty light the last few days.

Today was pretty exciting because we found out our assignments for Track and Field. I will be assisting another steadicam out on the field. Since there are so many events taking place at once there are actually five different feeds for Track and Field. There is the main track feed which includes all races and all medal ceremonies, there is a throws feed, a horizontal jumps feed, a vertical jumps feed, and an integrated feed. The integrated feed puts together the most interesting thing going on at the moment no matter if it’s a throw, jump, or race. People like NBC can take any part of those feeds and decide how they will broadcast back to their country.

I am assigned to the horizontal jumps, so long jump and triple jump. I don’t know exactly what I will be doing for the cameraman, I haven’t met him yet. I am assuming that it should be more active than Opening Ceremonies but you never know. For Opening Ceremonies the entire camera crew and production team was from Finland, and I really enjoyed working with the Fins. Now the Fins are only doing the track feed, throws feed, and the integrated feed, so that means I’ll be working with the Swedes. It’s pretty funny because the Fins seem to not like the Swedes, at least by their jokes, and since I’ll be working with the Swedes I want to find out how they feel.

In non-work related news…In our rooms at the Village we get all the feeds from all the Olympic Venues on our TVs which is really cool. So now that the games have started I can come home and watch whatever I want, swimming, gymnastics, handball, water polo, field hockey, badminton, it really doesn’t matter. If it’s going on I can watch it. But there is a big problem with that too. Since we broadcast every sport to the entire world the goal is to do so in a non-biased way. The NBCs add their own commentary and spin to the feed we give them. That makes it hard to know exactly what’s going on in some events. When I watch swimming, I have no idea who the favorite is or who is coming up next or who won earlier. I also don’t have internet in my room or building so I have to walk to get to it, so it’s not like I can look back at the results from earlier in the day. It really is amazing how hard it is to keep up with the Olympics while at the Olympics.

I have about two weeks left of this 5 week journey; it’s hard to think that I’ve really been here for 3 weeks. The worst part is that now the games are going on and I’m still setting up. The Opening Ceremonies was an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life, but it can still be frustrating to be in set up mode for 3 weeks before seeing any competitions. I look forward to Friday so much at this point.

I almost forgot to mention how cool it is to see them transform the stadium from Opening Ceremonies to Track and Field. Yesterday was our first day back after Ceremonies and it was very different. The grass for the infield was brought in on pallets on flat bed trucks, then put in place by a forklift. It was my first time seeing grass on pallets. I’ll send some pictures from yesterday, today wasn’t much different the big globe was completely torn down and the cranes weren’t there. Maybe tomorrow they’ll have all the grass down.

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