How CBC is Covering Vancouver 2010

February 17th, 2010 @ 3:45pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This is the first year in my lifetime that CBC has not been the official broadcaster of the Olympic Games in Canada. Although CTV is doing a fine job, it’s almost like watching Hockey Night in Canada without the original theme — something’s missing.

I walked around the CBC broadcast centre in Vancouver yesterday and got some thoughts from nightly news anchor, Ian Hanomansing.

CBC Tour

Not being the official broadcaster of the Olympics comes with many restrictions. “The big thing is that when it comes to the footage of the actual events, what the Olympic Movement calls the field of play,” explained Hanomansing. CBC cannot use images without heavy restrictions such as a wait period of 24 hours before posting any footage from that field of play.

“It’s frustrating for us at the CBC because we’ve so often been the Olympics rights holder in the past but the thing now is that we’re in a position that many other broadcasters are in. CNN is in this position, Global is in this position and so we find a way to still cover the sports with still pictures and a little bit of footage after that 24 hour period is over.”

Hanomansing wasn’t completely disheartened however, he’s continued to tell stories, do interviews, and really capture what’s been going on in the city. “The other thing you do is you focus on the story outside of the field of play – so the story about the city, the story about the pavilions, about people trying to get tickets, today I’m doing a story about the cauldron,” he said. “So there are tons of things you can do especially when it’s in your hometown.”

Having covered five previous Olympic Games, starting with Atlanta in 1996 so I asked what was his favourite part of being a broadcaster is during these times, whether as an official rights holder or not. He immediately brought up the athletes.

“The Canadian Olympians are everything you would hope Canadian Olympians would be. They are almost without exception humble and just you know they have fascinating stories.” On his new nightly program The City he’s been able to interview past Olympians as well such as Daniel Igali and Ross Rebagliati. “They fit that stereotype perfectly. They’re just so interesting to talk to and so nice and yet they were at one time, the best in the world at what they do so that’s been the fascinating thing about the Olympics.”

I know many people are missing the CBC as the official broadcaster but rest assured, they’re hard at work bringing you even more stories, from the crowds and from the public side of the fences, continuing to tell our stories.

They’re broadcasting nightly from the corner of Georgia and Hamilton from the plaza as well as their street-side studio. Spectators are very welcome.

Vancouver 2010 Maelle Ricker Talks About Gold

February 17th, 2010 @ 12:05pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday Maëlle Ricker won Canada’s second gold medal of the Vancouver 2010 Games and just like with Alexandre Bilodeau, a press conference is being held in her honour.

Maelle Ricker

Update: Not only has Maëlle brought home the second gold medal on Canadian soil, she’s also our first Canadian woman to do so, and first female snowboarder to have that honour as well.

“There was a lot of support, I felt the Canadian crowd and the friends and family in the crowd,” said Maëlle to open the conference.

A host from Cool FM asks if she has any lucky charms. Maëlle replies, “I have a lucky loonie. There’s one at the start of the boarder cross [route] and there’s one in my pocket.”

She was asked in French what the first thing was that went through her mind when she won the gold. Replying in French she said that she was just so proud to be Canadian and the first thing she did was to try and find her mom in the stands. She also says in French that she could feel the pride and admiration of Canadians throughout her run.

Maelle Ricker

CBC asks if she’s had more sponsorship opportunities in reference to her being on Blenz Coffee cups.

John Biehler just got up and asked her how she feels about being in Vancouver right now and especially going into the hospitality houses (she was at Irish House last night). She said it’s just an amazing feeling and there’s so much going on in Vancouver it’s overwhelming.

“I’m just living in the moment right now,” she adds after another question. “I haven’t thought too far ahead,” she just wants to keep racing.

“You had to move like a cat out there,” she noted in reference to the course conditions. “As the day went on the snow definitely softened up and became slick. The course was enjoyable in the finals.”

As Bilodeau remarked as well, Ricker credits the Own the Podium program with a lot of support throughout her training and for all Canadian athletes. She also says it’s amazing to not only see her own family but the Canadian family “in red and white” all around.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, Maelle Ricker, [unknown], Premier Campbell

Another question from the audience asks what she’ll do now to enjoy the rest of Vancouver 2010. “I’m going to watch my roommate Sarah Conrad,” as well as other athletes in downhill, speedskating and curling.

She credits her big brother for teaching her how to snowboard and she can’t believe she gets to snowboard for a living. She is positively glowing. “Growing up I looked up to Olympians,” she says with regards to being a role model. She still can’t believe she’s up in those ranks now. Ever-humble, just like a true Canadian Olympian. I’m thinking she fits in quite well. “Je suis sur la lune.”

Maëlle will receive her gold medal at the ceremony tonight but just mentioned she’ll be hanging out at the Canada Pavilion on Georgia before then.

Update February 19, 2010 Maëlle will be signing autographs this Sunday, February 21st, at the Canada Post on Georgia Street from 2:00pm until about 3:00pm.
Update February 20, 2010 Maëlle will have a public appearance today at 3:00pm over at the Bell Ice Cube.

Colbert Report Comes to Vancouver

February 17th, 2010 @ 11:52am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt
Photo: tyfn on Flickr

In support of Team USA’s speedskaters Stephen Colbert, host of the popular Comedy Central show The Colbert Report has come to Vancouver.

This morning was the first of two tapings down near Science World and hundreds showed up to catch a glimpse of the man who coined the term “Canadian Iceholes”.

According to the Vancouver Sun, guests on Wednesday included Michael Bublé (Colbert called him “Celine Dion without the white jumpsuit”) and NBC’s Bob Costas.

I didn’t get down there to catch the action (although he’ll be back at it again tomorrow) but I’ve relied on the social media sphere for updates and a few mobile phone images as twitpics.

You can follow live updates from the crowd by searching “Colbert + Vancouver” on Twitter.

From @halfgeek & @LaineyGossip

Flickr images:
From Mike Browne

Photo credit: Mike Browne on Flickr

Photo credit: Mike Browne on Flickr

From: Pisces Dreamer

Wave the Flag!
Photo credit: Pisces Dreamer on Flickr

Twitter updates:
From @AlexThistlewood:
“Third guest NBC’s Bob Costas, crowd chanting ”ride the moose”.

From @LaineyGossip:
“Colbert rally is like a rock concert. They’re delayed.”

Colbert show tapings:
9:15am Wednesday February 17th (they’re still out there as of 11:50am)
1455 Quebec (Creekside Park next to Science World)

9:15am Thursday February 18th
1455 Quebec (Creekside Park next to Science World)

These episodes will begin airing Monday, February 22, 2010.

Vancouver 2010 Alberta Day

February 17th, 2010 @ 10:47am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve missed BC Day, Quebec Day and yesterday’s Nova Scotia Day but I’ll make up for it now by profiling Alberta Day at the Olympics (perhaps even to honor Iginla’s stellar performance on the ice last night).

Photo by Chris Bolin for The Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede Royalty, Harry the Horse, Olympic Mascots

Every day at the Olympics another Canadian province is featured. Stop by the Canada Pavilion at LiveCity downtown for cultural performances and giveaways from the featured province each day. Alberta Pavilion is located outside BC Place over at Beatty and Robson as well. Today the first 2,500 people through the doors will receive some stampede hats and be able to learn a bit more about our neighbouring province.

Alberta Day Press conference Alberta Day Press conference

At this morning’s press conference 3-time Olympian (and blogger) Kyle Shewfelt said, “I’m very proud to be Canadian and I’m very proud to call Alberta home.” He added, “Alberta’s presence at these Games is felt through its athletes and its many venues and services.”

Hon. Lindsay Blackett said, “If sport is the heart of the Olympics, culture is the soul.” With plenty of concerts and artist showcases (especially today) you can view all special events from Alberta Plaza live online.

I’ll be hopping on the Alberta Train on Thursday to get up to Whistler and I’ll also start to feature each province daily starting today and continuing with Prince Edward Island Day tomorrow.

Vancouver 2010 Day 5 in Photos

February 17th, 2010 @ 10:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Yesterday was another action-packed adventure here in Olympics land. The sun was shining, the cherry blossoms started to pop on the trees, and it was a great day for sport.

Day 5 February 16, 2010

The morning started out like any other, John Biehler met John and I at our house and we all walked up to the media centre at Robson Square. Coffee flowed and a team from Nova Scotia showed up to give us chocolate, scarves and swag to celebrate Nova Scotia Day at the Games.

Georgia at Hamilton

As we got our photos and posts ready for the day and I was interviewed by CBC (French) in the morning regarding social media at the Olympics. In the afternoon I was given an all-access tour of the CBC which I will write about in another post. This was seperate from my interview earlier in the day and I had the chance to ask news anchor Ian Hanomansing how he’s covering the Olympics as a non-official broadcaster.

CBC Tour

Later in the day we were invited to the Molson Brewery to watch the Canada vs Norway men’s ice hockey game yesterday. Once again the hospitality and kindness of the Molson crew truly shined as they also unveiled to our crowd a special celebration bottle they’ll be giving to our medalists.

Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Packing up and walking home from the media centre every day there are thousands of people still out and about on the streets. Concerts happening in Robson Square while kids take to the ice for a skate as late as 10:00pm.

At the end of Day 5 of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Games yesterday, Canada was up another gold and another silver. Ending the day off with a 8-0 men’s ice hockey victory was just the icing on the cake.

Medal Count for Canada – February 16, 2010
Gold: 2
Silver: 2
Bronze: 1
View full medal count by country

Vancouver History: From the Archives

February 16th, 2010 @ 1:52pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Exploring more of Vancouver’s history this week I took a gander at the listed photograph subject terms that I can search through on the City of Vancouver Archives website.

Finding some of the most obscure results, I thought it would be fun to post a few retrospective photos of our city, featuring some unusual imagery.

Circus Animals
1900-1910 – A Parade with elephants goes down Granville Street

Archives item#: CVA 677-1011

1907 – A man and woman play croquet at Denman & Barclay (now Barclay Heritage Square)

Archives item#: CVA 677-119

1900-1910 – A gazebo-like shelter dubbed the “summer house” at Prospect Point

Archives item#: St Pk P260

1931 – The Radio Sales Company installs a giant radio at Victory Square

Archives item#: CVA 99-4145

Soda Fountains
1914 – The interior of Cairns Drug Store located at 732 Granville

Archive item#: CVA 371-912

Tourist Trade
1905 – Investigate Vancouver, BC, Canada

Archives item#: CVA 677-565

1955 – The old Granville Bridge being demolished

Archives item#: CVA 447-132

Finally, you can search the following term on the archives website to find some amusing and somewhat puzzling photos of yore.

Wild Animals as Pets
1910 – A little girl in Vancouver (on Waterloo Street) and her pet Black Bear

I’ll continue the Then and Now photo series next week and I’m open to themes if you have any suggestions (ie. hotels, apartments, stores, streets, parks etc.)

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Cauldron Behind a Fence

February 16th, 2010 @ 12:01pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Olympic flame is burning strong in Jack Poole Plaza overlooking Coal Harbour with a beautiful North Shore backdrop. Unfortunately, no one in Vancouver can get close enough to it to experience its warming glow as its captured behind an unfriendly chain link fence.

Olympic Cauldron
Photo credit: Stv on Flickr

I heard from Bob Mackin that VANOC was considering changing the fencing but as far as I know, the inspiring flame still burns, isolated behind bars.

Olympic Cauldron
Photo credit: Stv on Flickr

The reasoning is that it’s to protect the structure from vandals although while I’m sure many are just as concerned about security, I’m sensing most just want to get up close for a loving look.

Photo credit: Chilie on Flickr

Lucky for us, a few have been able to poke their lenses through the grid far enough to capture some amazing and much more appealing views of the cauldron.

2010 Winter Olympic Outdoor Cauldron HDR
Photo credit: Tyler Ingram on Flickr

Until the flame’s majesty is freed for better public viewing, I’ll be looking through the fence and past the barriers thanks to these photos. Should you have any images to share, please feel free to add them to the Miss604 Flickr Group.

Update February 17, 2010 I had the chance to check out the cauldron today with my mom, dad, niece and nephew.

The Olympic Cauldron

The Olympic Cauldron

The Olympic Cauldron

It looks like they cut a space in the fencing so that photos can be less obstructed and it seems the barrier’s been pushed a little closer to the cauldron.

Update February 20, 2010 Hosea from the 24 Hours reports (via twitpic) that the bottom half of the fence is now plexiglass window materiel while the top half is still metal.

Update February 24, 2010 I snapped the following shots from the Can Fund Athlete House in the Shaw Tower.

Can Fund Athlete House

Cauldron viewed from CDN Athletes House Cauldron viewed from CDN Athletes House

Can Fund Athlete House

You can see the queue for the elevated viewing area in the some of these shots.

Vancouver 2010 Day Four in Photos

February 16th, 2010 @ 11:37am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Continuing my daily series featuring my personal experiences at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics I have to say that yesterday was indeed a fantastic day. Despite not getting to bed until 2:30 this morning because I was still up working, John and I had a once in a lifetime experience over at the Pacific Coliseum.

Day Four, February 15, 2010

First thing in the morning I sat in on a press conference with Alexandre Bilodeau, the first Canadian to win gold in Canada.

Alexandre Bilodeau - First Gold medal on Canadian soil

Following the media event I wrote several posts, featuring the Vancouver 2010 iPhone application, and hung out at the Media Centre where the wifi is abundant and the coffee is complimentary.

John and I then headed over to the Pacific Coliseum for the pairs figure skating final. If you’re heading out there you can take a #135 or #10 Hastings bus and follow the instructions from the blue jacket volunteers. Bring as little as possible with you so that you can get through security with ease.

Pacific Coliseum Route

Once again I can’t post photos from inside Olympic venues on my site but you can view my Flickr stream for a sneak peek. John also has an amazing set of all the on-ice action.

John and Me at Pairs Figure Skating (standing at our wicked seats)

It was awesome to watch the Chinese win gold and silver – the crowd absolutely loved them and they performed flawlessly. We stuck around as they handed out the medals in a special ceremony and it was neat to get text messages from our family in Iowa and Illinois that spotted us in the stands during the live broadcast.

Olympia not Zamboni

I promise I’ll have more daily photos tomorrow as I won’t be heading into any venues but I will be heading to a broadcast centre and a brewery (in that order).

Medal Count for Canada – February 15, 2010
Gold: 1
Silver: 2
Bronze: 1

Coming up for Day Five at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, it’s Nova Scotia Day with celebrations all round. Canada is featuring a province each day so you can learn more and get some goodies from the Canada Pavilion (at LiveCity Downtown) if you stop by. There will of course be celebrations at the Atlantic Canada House tonight as well.