So the Olympics are officially over. And I’m home. In Seattle.
Now, normally I would make a video blog (or vlog) about how I’m feeling and what I’m doing right now, but that will have to wait, because I have the biggest bags under my eyes, and I look like I haven’t slept in a month (which is kind of true). I doubt any of you would want to see me in front of a camera at this point…!
The past month has been amazing in many ways. And it has also been the busiest month of my entire life. And, if you know me at all, you know that for me to say it was the busiest month of my life – that’s saying a lot. I am always a very busy person – I love being busy. I love the feeling of going from one thing to the next, and surviving solely on adrenaline. But the Olympics brought a whole new meaning to that!
In the past month, The Whistler Sliding Centre (where I worked during the Games) has hosted 13 days of competition, including 30 competition runs, and over 48 training runs. Combined, that’s about 100 hours of events. Add to that 15 minutes of Mixed Zone time for each athlete/team after each run, and then an hour for the press conferences after every medaling event… That’s a lot of time.
here's the Whistler Sliding Centre at its most crowded
There’s more clock time I could add to that tally, but I think that’s enough to give you a sense of what the past month of my life has been like.
In one word – it’s been wonderful.
Right now, I have swollen glands in my throat, a terrible headache, I’m dizzy, my ears haven’t stopped ringing/throbbing for 2 days, and I’m more tired than I’ve ever been. But I’m not complaining. I’m loving it. To me, my physical and mental state right now just shows how hard I worked.
I did work hard! I learned so much, and met so many great people in the journalism industry who gave me some great advice. My coworkers are all great people whom I hope to stay in touch with (maybe we’ll even see each other at future Olympics!). I met many broadcasters and print journalists from newspapers and television stations all over the world, and they all had something different to say about the Games and the journalism industry.
Here’s a few of the things I learned:
- How to take notes fast – I’ve been typing on a computer since I can remember, so I haven’t been hand-writing anything much lately. But in the Mixed Zone, I did not have a voice recorder or a computer, so it was up to my hands, a pencil, and a notepad to get quotes from all of the sliding athletes. My first day on the job, I had a very hard time writing down quotes quickly. And on the really cold days at work, my hands couldn’t still couldn’t accomplish the task very well. But, cold or not, by the end of the Games, my brain and hands learned how to get quotes, and write them down fast.
- Be someone people want to work with – now, I obviously already knew this; it’s common sense. But the Olympic Games reinforced this. People in the Mixed Zone and the Venue Media Centre who weren’t nice to work with, frankly, weren’t as successful at their jobs. And in a situation like the Olympics, you’re working with the same people for 17 days straight, and if someone is unpleasant to work with at the beginning – you can be sure it will affect the success of everyone’s jobs by the end.
this is how crowded the Mixed Zone is -- everyone's squeezed in together!
- Never be afraid to talk to someone – whether it’s interviewing an Olympic athlete, breaking the ice with a shy coworker, or networking with a professional in your career field. As long as you approach people prepared and with a smile, it never hurts to say something or ask a question. Oh, and on the subject – I also learned not to be star struck by athletes, oranyone else. The athletes I spoke with at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games were all so nice and down to earth. Some of them had a bit of an ego, and others had only started their respective sport 18 months ago and were in awe of all the talented athletes around them. Some of them may have been even more nervous about talking to me (and the rest of the media) than I was about talking to them!
Since I am extremely tired, as mentioned above, I should leave you all with those words of wisdom, and head to bed. This next week, before I head back up to Whistler for the Paralympic Winter Games, will be the time for me to sleep, sleep… and sleep. I need it.
Because, in the words of my dad, “[I] worked [my] frickin’ butt off.”