My 16 year old son is mad at me. When I call home his anger is palpable. He does not understand why I leave home for extended periods of time every couple of years to work at the Olympics. He won’t listen when I try to explain so I’m putting it out to the world. Being part of a production team at the Olympics is, well, like being an Olympian. This is a pinnacle in broadcasting and all of my colleagues aspire to work at the games. It is a global coming together of the best television professionals from around the world. Every couple of years we rekindle old friendships and make new ones and try to fit in a beer here and there. We learn the state of the art and the latest technologies. We work around the clock in a pressure cooker. Are we having any fun yet? Hell, yes. The work that is done to bring viewers the Olympics is nothing short of extraordinary. We challenge ourselves to acheive feats in broadcasting that are remarkable and inspiring. It is our Olympics too. It always stuns me that years of planning and so much money and effort go into just 17 days. Olympics transcend sports and for those of us lucky to be a part of the games, it is completely addicting. It is a very unique culture.
The other thing that makes me want to come back year after year is the way the Olympics inspire communities. Today all Canadians are walking a bit taller, all decked out in red, for the start of the games. You sense the pride and anticipation in Vancouver. Low key Canada is showcasing what makes it special. It’s enlightening to know how much talent it has given to the world. And not to be all rah rah about Canada but this country has taken advantage of this moment, not just to offer meaningless apologies to its first nations, but to partner with them in the Olympics. You will see in the opening ceremonies how the native Canadians are honored. It is an unprecedented peace. I might be a bit pollyanna here but I am also still inspired by the idea that the Olympics can foster understanding around the world. Bring nations together and let young warriors hammer it out on the playing field. Win for the country then shake hands and hug and if you don’t win at least you participated and made your people proud.
At the end of all this we are completely spent and wondering how we could possibly do this again. Then we go home to our families and catch up with our sleep and as the next games are a year and a half away we are getting back in touch with our associates and raising our hands again. I have been producing television for 30 years and I am still on fire about the Olympics. This morning when I was watching NBC’s Today Show kick off its coverage of the games and I heard the Olympic fanfare I got all choked up. The Olympics are here. Let the games begin! Get the party started. And Kyle, if you are reading this, that’s why your mom is here.
For more information about Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.