Blogging Olympics: Giant Slalom

As promised, part two of our special reporting series, Sarah Miller’s Favorite Things about the Olympics.

6) The Whole Michael Buble/Made in Canada musical number at the closing ceremonies

We got to see an early dress rehearsal of the Michael Buble number on the Tuesday before closing ceremonies and our entire audio crew was blown away by it. We were like little kids, every time something new would come out we’d elbow each other and point things out: “Aw!!!!! Cool!!!! Did you see the giant table top hockey game!?” I got to see it three times by the time the actual closing ceremonies rolled around and I loved it every time. The big band arrangement of The Maple Leaf Forever was also particularly amazing. Loved how the arranger worked in quotes from the Hockey Night in Canada theme the whole way through. It was just: Perfect. A perfect ending.

Michael Buble Closing

Maple Leaf Forever

7) Pretending to be a camera operator

There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the audio department for the ceremonies because once the mics were set up they were pretty much good to go. But I did get to know some of the camera guys on the crew pretty well and they were pretty happy to answer my millions of questions. Jeremy, one of the handheld camera operators kept trying to pass his camera off to people (it was really heavy and he wanted a break), so he let me try it out at one of the medal ceremonies. He had to lift it onto my shoulder for me but I think I got the hang of the zoom and the focus part. At the closing ceremonies one of the camera guys in the roof let me hang out with him on his platform and I got to try using the camera on a few shots—with his help, of course.

Between that and getting to listen to the director call the opening ceremonies in the truck I’m fairly sure I will never watch television the same way again. Last weekend when I was watching the Oscars I found myself thinking about the camera angles and finding mistakes or inconsistencies I totally would not have noticed before this whole experience.

Camera Operator

8 ) Joannie Rochette

When Joannie Rochette skated her short program that brought the entire world to tears, we were in between medal ceremonies at BC Place. Monique and I ran out to the TV monitors backstage to watch her program and got to cry along with all the Mounties in full red serge dress uniform who were waiting to go and raise the flags for more medal ceremonies. Have you ever seen a Mountie cry? I have. Also, was her skate not one of the most moving things you’ve ever seen?

9) Getting paid to see concerts every night

This is one I had to constantly remind myself to be thankful for on the nights when bands like Hedley and Theory of a Deadman were playing. But overall it’s a pretty sweet gig anytime you are getting paid to watch live music, right? I got to see Nelly Furtado, Barenekkid Ladies, Great Big Sea, Hey Rosetta!, Kyle Riabko, Burton Cummings and Stereophonics among others. From up close and personal…literally behind the speakers, hearing the stage mix. Nice.

10) Canada is awesome and now the world knows it

Much has been written about what these Games did for Canada’s national pride and identity, so I won’t try to wax all poetical about it for you. I will tell you that this article, and this video made me tear up a little.

It was a mighty thing to behold and be a part of. I’m so glad that I got to be here in Vancouver for these Games and to watch a city and a country transformed.