Sunday, February 26, 2006

Arrivederci Torino - 你好北京

From an American that Married a Swede - Arrivederci Italy.

I guess I better learn how to read the stuff on this computer to be able to get by in Beijing.

NB - Remember always that the passion lives in Torino because it is too expensive in Milano, Venice or Rome.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Top 10 Reasons Boooooode Miller Didn't Win a Medal

10.- His mouth is moving to fast when he skis
9. - He wouldn't know a gate if he hit one
8. - He has already won medals...who needs another
7. - His bindings have cut off all circulation to his head
6. - He can't put his medals where his mouth is
5. - He is a cry baby
4. - He straddles too much
3. - He didn't want to pay excess baggage charges for the medals
2. - He needed more room in his suitcase for all the BEER he is bringing home
1. - HE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO SKI!!!!!!!!!!

Preparations at Cross Country

The TOROC folks that I have run into {and not hurt} have been great. I grabbed some snaps early Friday AM as they were preparing for the fans to arrive as well as preparing the course. These three guys were out measuring, drilling and planting. They were measuring the distance between each row for the Cross Country 30km event. Then the next bloke would drill a hole so that the third guy could then plant a blue spruce tree. Not really a blue spruce, but a little green tree that looks like it could be blue spruce. This marks the row for the competitors so that they line up properly.

This guy in the stands has a job that really rocks. He walks around and blows the snow from the chair seats. In this picture he is blowing the snow off the chairs of the Olympic Family Seats.

Pipping Hot Canada

Well the Canucks Won in Curling giving them their 6th Gold Medal. The pipers brought out the Teams prior to the match and then left. They played pretty well and that is probably what spooked the Fins. I am not sure if this fan saw much of the game through these lenses but they sure had fun. There was no doubt about it Canada rocked the stands in Pinerolo on Friday night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pete Fenson Wins Bronze For His Mom

Apparently the hot story out of Curling is that the mother of the skip Fenson died two years ago today. He promised himself that he would win a medal in Torino on the anniversary of her passing.

He skippered the team to a great win against Great Britan. I have a series of shots here. The winning stone coming in, followed by the celebration of the other three team members, then Pete Fenson looking into the stands at his wife, his wife is in the Statue of Liberty get up and then the whole team waving to the US of A fans telling them thanks for their support.

People At The Curling Venue

These are shots of a couple of the fans at the Curling venue tonight watching the US game vs. GBR. Since both teams sport Red White and Blue it is hard to tell which teams these folks were rooting for. I think one of them is very impartial...whilst the bloke with the Swiss Flag behind him should have been at a different venue. I think he took a wrong turn whilst leaving the hills above Raleigh or Heber City. He is back on his way home in the mountains.

Needless to say, the gentleman in the black coat with the blue trim is IOC President Jacques Rogge. He is standing inbetween the Ice Maker on the left and the VP of the International Curling Federation.

Finnish Marshmellow Men

So what do the Finnish Camera men do on their evenings off? They are down at the Curling venue in Pinerolo {about 45 minute bus ride from Pragelato} and rooting for the Finnish Team. However, the Finnish lost to the Canadians tonight in the Gold Medal Match. The guys took the white clothes that they need on the CC course and put on blue strips to make the Finnish flag. It is a shame the Finn's lost. Oh Canada...Glorious and Free....Oh Canada...We stand on gaurd for thee....Canada 10 - 4 winners over Finland.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ketil and Knecht one has the looks and the intelligence {the one on the right} and the other comes from Norway {the guy on the left}.

It blows my mind that as of this posting Korea now has doubled the amount of gold medals that Norway has and that Sweden has 2.5 times more gold than Norway. What is happening with that little country that has good neighbors?

This was taken on the 22nd the night I went to Speed Skating. I did not stay for all of the 1500m heats but saw the first 9. Ketil and his family are here having a party at Frederic's.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Italian Moth Ball Fleet

As one drives down from Pragelato into Torino one passes Pinerolo {where the Swedes will be win Gold in Curling}. At the side of the freeway as one turns into Pinerolo you have a salvage yard dedicated primiarly to used Military vechiles. Not sure how they end up here but I was able to grab three snaps as I went by.

Friends from By Gone Days

A couple of friends at the Speed Skating Venue. Ketil Pettersen and John Brandon have both been around the Games for a while. Ketil started in Lillehammer and I met him in Atlanta. John Brandon started in Sydney and has been around since. Both great guys. The Speed Skating venue is crewed by our friends from Japan and hence that is why John has his name in Japanese as well.
Daily, I am able to remind Ketil, who is from Norway, that a Winter Olympics Powerhouse like South Korea has MORE GOLD medals than Norway. What is the world coming to?

Orange Invasion at Speed Skating

As always the Dutch turn out in numbers for the Speed Skating event. I came into the city tonight to see this and some friends. Here is the Dutch version of 'Alexanders Rag Time Band' and the announcment on the scoreboard. Apparently the first night the band tried to get in they were told they could not bring the instruments into the venue. Now they get headlines.

Snow Day - Games On

On the 18th after Cross Country was done it started to snow heaps. It snowed for about 2 hours and made the venues look great. Here is a shot outside of the room where I sit and upload the photos and create the posts on the blog. You can see a tad of the river that runs all the way from the Cross Country venue to the Ski Jump venue down past our 'temporary housing' and further. It is a beautiful area and has lots to see as people are walking around and enjoying the landscape.

Ice Sculptures

I wish I had taken pictures the first day I saw them but I was without my camera. There was an ice sculpture contest and there were many good displays including the Olympic rings and more. I only took one snap since all the others were broken or melted.

Mickey and Goofy

Mickey Mouse was here along with goofy {I assume it was here husband} but I didn't see goofy until after I took the picture and I was on a bus and could not get them to stop. These folks are from Norway {figures} and they are headed to the Cross Country event.

Audio Board, Video Controllers and the Graphics Guy

These are three more shots inside the truck at CC. The video guys are the ones that paint the cameras so that the greens are green and blues are blue. The audio guy has to control the microphones that are on all the cameras plus those burried along the course. If you are able to see the CC event you would hear beautigful sounds. Mikko is the Graphics guy, one of two whom I work with here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

So You Want To Work In TV

At the games there are many folks working to make the TV production come out right. Additionally there are miles and miles of cables to be run, strung and plugged in. Here are some shots showing some of the behind the scenes at the Olympics in Torino.

TOBO {Torino Olympic Broadcasting Organization} is producing something like 900+ hours of live TV, spanning 80+ events and using 400+ cameras. Just alone at the two venues I am at we are doing more than 25 hours of live coverage at each. Although that might not seem like a lot if you consider there were about 7 ski jumping events that is 3.5 hours per event which is about an hour longer than a good baseball game.

In these pictures you see part of the YLE crew from Finland prior to starting the coverage of a Cross Country Event. You also see all the cables that are run from the field of play to the truck in order to get coverage. In some of these cables there really conduits where there are multi's on the end so that 12, 32 or 48 more items can be plugged into one of the thicker black cables.

Swedish Celebration - Hans' Double

This little kid reminded me and Derek of Hans when he was about 5 years old. This little kid was having a hoot and all the people around him loved having him there. He had flags on his cheeks as well as a large Swedish Flag and the 'fog horn noise maker.'

USA vs. SWE - Who Should I Root For?

It is Obvious a Happy Wife equals a Happy Life so I had to root for Tre Kroner in the Hockey Match on Sunday vs. the US of A. I got there at the start of the second period and sat four rows behind the Swedish penalty box. I was with Derek Lindsy of the IOC. It was a great game. There were American Lugers in front of me and US fans next to me...but when I explained to them the dilema {being married to a Swede and me being an American} they all agreed it was okay to root for Tre Kroner.

I got stuck in Torino and stayed with Ben Rodgers on Sunday night since the snow was falling and they had closed the roads. When I say snow was falling it was about 6-8-12 inches. They would not let people through the mountains without chains. The BVM at Ski Jump did get through without chains as the lady office that stopped him told him to put on chains...and he said 'I am from Canada...this is not much snow for me.' She let him through without any chains.

This snap was taken just after Tre Kroner scored their second goal.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Night Time @ Alpine

The night I went to Downhill and saw Bode straddle and Likety Split win...we went and ate with Stass from NBC. Afterwards I went to get my bag out of his room and this is the view he has from there. He looks back on the venue. On this night the moon was full as well...but I had only the telefoto lens and could not get the venue and the moon. Oh well. Still an awesome picture of the venue at night.

Italian Rukus Raiser - Il Babbo Natale

This gentleman went crazy after the Italian Women took Bronze in the 4 X 5km Cross Country Event. He does not have a credential...but he is in a zone close to the finish. I think the weight of his bells and pins would be enough to take out anyone wishing to stand in his way. Alternatively, the Italian folks might be afraid that 'Il Babbo Natale' would not show up at Christmas time if they were to stop him.

Fun in Pragelato

Right outside the Ski Jump area there are people trying to compete with the Park City tube run and adding one more twist and snocycle course. Here are two photos of what kids {big and small or young and old} can do. The tube run is about 30 paces long...not long at all. However, the motorcycle with the ski on the front end is cool. They have a course, like at a go cart place, and they run the course. You can see part of it marked out in the photo. They have up to three running at the same time. It was fun to watch last night whilst waiting for a bus.

Friday, February 17, 2006

How I am Doing

My father keeps telling me to post pictures of myself. So here it is. After not having water for 1 day and being without hot water for 2...I had one of the Slovenia crew take a picture of me. As my wife and kids know one month before I left we started a gotee growing contest for those working in my department at the Games. It was not until I got here in Italy that it really started to take full effect on me. I have tried to shave since I was not the winner but I keep breaking my razors. I hope that when I get back I can get rid of the excess hair. I hear that the metal detectors at the airports now perform hair I am anxiously waiting for that to happen.

Actually, this is a snow monkey from Nagano. He and his buddies would steal our food, backpacks and such when we were out walking around in some of the areas in Nagano.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Neve e Gliz - Olympic Mascots

Here are the two mascots for these games Snow and Ice. They are out at many venues but since we got some fresh snow over night I thought it was appropriate to post these today. They are having fun with the kids and fans that are out at the venues enjoying the events. Although not quite as adorable as the Snowlets from Nagano...they are far better than 'What iz it' from Atlanta. Neve is female and Gliz is male...go figure.

According to the offical press release...Neve is 'a synthectic name, simple, with a soft and elegant sound and very easy to memorise. Neve immediately recalls the bond of the mascot with one of the two natural elements that are fundamental for the practice of winter sports....'

Gliz, the cold male, is 'a name whose characteristics complement Neve. It expresses energy, passion, innovation and entertainment. Gliz brings to mind the names of superheroes of comic strips, cartoons or childrens' games.'

Bode Straddiling

Well we all know what happened. I happened to be there that night to see Andy Rosenberg from NBC as well as others that I have known since the Seoul Olympics in Korea. I was in the finish line area with Paula and Stass and Bode kept appearing in First Place on the scoreboard. Suddenly he was not the leader and his name was at the end. Oh was still a great night for the Team from the US of A as they got a gold from Ligety Split from Park City Utah. Anyone reading this know where Park City is located?

Boris from Oris

This is Boris from Oris...actually Boris Sakac and he has been around the Olympics almost longer than Pierre de Coubertin who is considered the Father of the Olympics. I have worked with Boris for 10 years now and he is a good old guy.

Boris works with Djuma and they help develop the guidelines for the printed reports, when they are delivered, scoreboards and such. They work with the the Federations to make sure they get what they need to run the competition whilst also maintaining the Olympic standards.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Golden Day in Cross Country

For the first time since the Lillehammer Olympics of '94 Sweden has a Gold Medal. They won TWO back to back today within 20 minutes of each other at the Cross Country Team Sprint. First the Swedish Women won theirs and then then men came from behind feeling the pressure that the ladies put on them to perform and took first place in their event. The Team Sprint has two competitiors from each country and they each ski for 1.2km and then hand off to the other one. They each do this three times. It is a very tough event where stamina is needed to endure the sprints. It was a very good day for Sweden. I will put up a series of photos to show the fun had by all there.

Platform Appearances

Prior to getting their medals Lina and Anna are announced as the Gold Medalists for 2006.

Thobias and Bjoern listen closely as their anthem is played for all to hear at the Cross Country venue.

Three Cheers for Sweden

Anna's or Lina's mom was given the flowers by her daughter as a 'Tack' for all the support she has provided.

Jubilation in the stands as the toss Anna Dahlberg in the air.

Sång till Norden or Du Gamla, Du Fria Red, White and Blue at Cross Country. Although the US team had men and women in the was a blue and yellow flag that was raised for the crowds to cheers.

On the right,

the Truppe Alpine
salute the Flags
whilst wearing
their Peter Pan hats.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Faces of Pragelato

I went out and walked today the streets of Pragelato since we had no Cross Country event and only a 'Training' session for Ski Jump. I attach a couple of pictures of what this town is like when the Olympics are not here.

The man up top was dosing asleep as I walked back to the temporary housing.

The little lady walking down the main street. She has her shopping bag...cane and purse and is out for a morning purchase.

Cops and Round Things

Handcuffs....Doughnuts....Pizza....what do they all have in common? They are favourite things of law enforcement. Here is a shot of the local pizzaeria where cops are hanging out daily....hourly. I actually think that some cops are there around the clock making sure nothing happens. is easy to see wherever one goes in the world...cops like food that is round...The local doughnut shop or pizzaeria. It is all the same...with a good glass of cold milk they go down the pipes.