harryt's blog

From Dead Head To Pinhead

I managed to pull off what I’m calling the biggest trade this great city has seen since Brian Burke managed to get both of the Sedin twins in the 1999 NHL Draft.

Shaun White can have his Olympic gold medal. I made my own score of top-of-the-podium proportions yesterday.

I traded a USA Hockey Olympic pin for, get this, a Grateful Dead pin produced by the San Francisco Fire Department’s Haight Street division.

Media Malaise

One quirky little fact of life for an Olympic journalist is that if it’s news, it’s usually news to those closest to the action.

Seriously, you’re so busy dealing with the here and now, you often have no clue of what’s going on just down the street. Whether it’s some bozo tossing a trashcan through a storefront window in protest or a whole lot of people having a great time at Robson Square, there are always two sides to every Olympic story.

The Eyes Of Canada Are Upon Us

It was hailed as the most anticipated hockey practice in the history of the sport.

The Pope could have been spotted partying at Robson Square and it would not have been the top story on many local broadcasts.

Good Bye To Buses

Sitting on a media bus every day going back and forth between the rink, you develop a certain connection with the people and places you pass along the way.

There's the old Asian man arranging the fruit on the stands outside the produce market. The sweaty people riding stationary bikes in the window of the fitness center one floor above a doughnut shop. The panhandler who patrols the same corner every day, rain or shine. They have all become a part of my Olympic experience.

The Road Less Taken

“You can see a lot just by observing.”

It wouldn't be a bona fide sporting event if I didn't quote Yogi Berra at least once.

Blues Clues

You can't swing a dead cat in Vancouver these days without hitting someone wearing a powder blue jacket. That's the official uniform for the 25,000 volunteers who seem to be everywhere in this city, performing a variety of tasks from the mundane to the critical.

The overwhelming majority are incredibly nice and completly competent. Then there are those who stood their posts at or around the BC Place, site of last night's Opening Ceremony.

Escape From Grouse Mountain

I remember a scene from The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy stood at the precipice of the haunted woods reading a sign that read, "I'd turn back if I were you." Dorothy wasn't smart enough to heed the warning, and neither am I.

A Secure Feeling

One of the most obvious differences between the Vancouver Games and the previous Olympics I've covered is just how painless it has been to pass through security at the various venues.

No Time For 'Haters'

With so much time spent waiting around for media buses to arrive or depart, the smart journalists use the down time to transcribe notes, write stories, think up interview questions or catch up on sleep that is always in short supply.

Sometimes it's even good to strike up a conversation with someone from another country.

Yesterday, another scheduling snafu with the buses left me with an hour to wait outside the bus stop outside the UBC Thunderbird Arena, where the U.S. Women's Team had just finished practicing.

A Bus To Nowhere

I've only been in Vancouver a few hours and already I feel like I know the city like the back of my hand. That's because our media bus driver cruised up and down most main streets in Vancouver, and a few side streets, more than a few times.

You can't imagine the feeling of helplessness when you cruise past your hotel for the second time. Trying to get my Olympics off to a good start I resisted the overwhelming urge to yell out, "Hey Nimrod, stop the bus!" So I drove around for an extra hour and was rewarded for my patience by being the last media type to be dropped off.

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