When I first arrived in Vancouver, I felt as if I’d traveled much farther than my three and a half hour plane ride. I must’ve seen hundreds of Russians, hundreds of Chinese, hundreds of everyone with signs and flags and I just needed to find my luggage and a currency exchange to get some Canadian money. Once I got through customs and had some CDN in hand, Esther sent me to the wrong hotel and then the right hotel didn’t have me booked. I had the flu. And it was raining. And I don’t have an international plan on my cell phone. But I was psyched.
Once I got a room and slept for eleven hours while waiting for Ariel Helwani to arrive, I woke up ready for, well, I really didn’t know. I’ve never been at anything this big. Unless you’ve worked at the Olympics, you’ve never worked any event of this scale.
The first day was definitely the toughest. Getting my credentials, learning bus routes, arena locations, and where my credentials allowed me to go, and absorbing the machine of the Olympics—all of it was overwhelming. And then, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died.
After day one, Ariel and I looked at each other, “Holy shit. There’s sixteen more days of this.” And then after the closing ceremony, I thought, “Well, that flew by.”
No need to recap the Olympic events for you, as there were almost 3000 credentialed media to do that for you. I just wanted to point out in the eighteen days I was in Vancouver, I only met one person with attitude (three seconds) and it was a bus driver and I was doing something wrong. Everyone was extremely nice, even if they didn’t know how to help and gave me the wrong information.
And the experience of watching Olympic hockey with Canada on the ice in Canada… had to be the most exhilarating fan experience I could imagine in all of sports, with the exception of World Cup. Except, hockey belongs to Canada.
I wanted to share a few of my favorite videos I shot at the 2010 Winter Olympics. I honestly feel that these videos capture the essence of what it was like to be in Vancouver for the Olympics. The Olympic experience isn’t just the games, it was mostly the people, the crowds, the size — everything was amazing. And I have to say, the Canadian people are kind and their patriotism seems genuine and warmly contagious. By the last day, I was humming “O Canada” I’m even watching Sidney Crosby highlights on Sportscenter. I hadn’t even heard of him before the games. Go Canada!
And some photos I took while adventuring: