Five Days At The Winter Games.
A random collection of video snippets from my time in Vancouver during the Winter Games. All shot with my Canon 7D. The song is 'Half Light' by the band Athlete, off the album 'Tourist'. I thought the words light, athlete, and tourist all seemed appropriate. You can buy the single here
In early February of 2010, I was asked if I’d be interested in traveling to Vancouver to take some photos and video of the stories happening in and around the Winter Games. I’d be part of the first HUMNEWS team to actually go into the field to begin gathering content, test field equipment, and essentially announce HUMNEWS to the world of press and media. After about 1 second of thought, my answer was a resounding, “HELL YEAH I”LL GO!” I mean, c’mon, it’s The Winter Olympics! Who wouldn’t want to go?
I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for, but I knew a lot of the folks who’d be part of team and all of them are top notch talent in their respective fields. A few conference calls later, a quick pack of the equipment bags, and we were off!
Once we’d arrived in Vancouver (after a 22 hour trip from Atlanta to Phoenix, Phoenix to Seattle, and Seattle drive to Vancouver), we broke into teams. Each team had a number of goals:
First, generate coverage content on our HUMNEWS countries that were present at the Olympics. These countries include Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Canada, Ghana, Haiti, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Mongolia, North Korea, Tajikistan, and The Republic of San Marino.
Second, generate coverage on other stories happening around Vancouver such as whether or not the games were truly Green, homelessness in Vancouver, riots and protesting of the Games, the multicultural Olympiad, and the general vibe of Vancouver during the Winter Games.
Third, field test the Livecasting software and mobile broadcast equipment, including a live broadcast each night from midnight to 4AM that could be viewed by mobile industry professionals at a conference in Barcelona.
Fourth, get content onto the website.
We spent virtually five sleepless days and nights in the pursuit of these objectives, encountering hurdles all along the way. We were dogged by equipment failures, spotty internet coverage, media accreditation issues, rain, infrastructure growing pains, and the general inefficiencies of learning how to best operate a brand new team while on the road. That said, we still achieved some extraordinary successes along the way, more than proving HUMNEWS is going to be something special. I’m sure everyone there had their own special moments, but for me, these are my favorites:
- Watching our first Livecasting feed actually go live, with the beauty of Vancouver in the background. Observing the first awkward steps of a brand new venture is always something of a profound moment for me. You just never know when small beginnings will lead to massive accomplishment.
- Filming a performance by The Spirit of Uganda, a dance company made up entirely of Ugandan youth who were orphaned by either AIDS or war. I couldn’t agree more with New York Times description that they ““Invigorate the stage with that elusive thing called joy””.
- Spending time with a homeless woman, and having her share her story with us. The disparity between the billions of dollars being spent to dress up Vancouver and ongoing homeless plight in the downtown area couldn’t be more clear.
- Standing downtown on Granville Street, at 2AM, surrounded by thousands of Olympic fans, each cheering their home country.
- Stumbling upon an unexpected Mardi Gras celebration at the official media center. Great music, dancing, and all around good time in spite of the rain and cold weather.
- Sitting in the official press center, surrounded by journalists from all over the globe, big screen TV’s with Olympic coverage on every wall, hammering out content for the HUMNEWS website. That was definitely a ‘pinch me’ sort of moment.
- Lastly, the camaraderie of working with everyone around me. To Eric, Ryan, Mike, Greg, Kelli, Joy, Courtney, Max, Michael, Laurel, Les, Pam, Tom, and Todd -- I salute thee!
A special thanks to Joy Benidetto for including me on this early chapter in the existence of HUMNEWS. I can’t wait to go back for more! Check out HUMNEWS.com to read and see some of the actual coverage that came out of our time there!