My Olympic Experience
I’ve been to a summer Olympiad, but not as a spectator. No, not as an athlete either. Seriously, did anyone really think that?
It was 1988 and I was in Seoul, Korea, working as a production assistant for NBC Sports. My ultimate dream job. To say that I had a blast was an understatement.
I saw every Olympic event. Unfortunately, I only saw one of those events in person. Like everyone else around the globe, I watched the contests play out on a TV screen. In my case, a monitor in the International Broadcast Center. Still, it was awesome!
We were right there in the thick of things, editing footage that would air in the dead of night back home. I worked on the late show which, due to the 13 hour time difference, was actually taking place in the early afternoon the next day in Korea.
Despite being confined to the studio from 5 am to 5 pm for the two weeks, I did manage to meet a lot of the athletes when they came in for interviews. Here I am with diver Greg Louganis. He won the gold medal after cracking his head on the diving platform during the preliminary round. I had a bird’s eye view of his stitches. He declined to let me take a picture of them, though.
Because of my early morning work schedule, it was difficult to make it to any of the events. The only exception was one night when a friend was tasked with the job of running audio at the swimming finals. Our seats were great—right behind Janet Evans’ parents who were wearing microphones so the network could capture their reaction to their daughter’s gold medal swim. If you watch the Olympic compilation video, you can see me sitting behind them. What? You don’t have the 18 hours of videotapes of the Seoul Games? That’s okay, neither do I.
It’s a lot of fun watching the games on television, knowing what is going on behind the scenes. Although I get kind of tired of my kids remarking how I’ve aged so much and Bob Costas hasn’t. What’s up with that, Bob?
With a few exceptions, I think my former colleagues have done a great job with their coverage. I really didn’t appreciate Andrea Joyce shoving a microphone in Jordyn Wieber’s face right after she’d been left out of the Women’s Gymnastic All-Around, though. That being said, Jordyn has my vote for best athlete of these games. She definitely has some mettle. And why must every NBC correspondent traipse through Ryan Lochte’s closet? One look at the over abundance of shoes was enough. I won’t even ask why John McEnroe was in that closet or what he is supposed to contribute to the broadcast. They haven’t even shown any tennis yet.
Next week the track and field gets underway and one of my favorites—cycling in the velodrome. I can’t wait!
What’s been your favorite part of these Olympics, so far? I’d love to hear from you.
Posted on August 3, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged Bob Costas, Greg Louganis, Janet Evans, John McEnroe, Jordyn Wieber, NBC, Ryan Lochte, Seoul Olympics, Summer Olympics, Tracy Kelly Solheim, Tracy Solheim, velodrome. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.