2013 Roar of the Rings - Final Weekend

Friday, December 6, 2013
The day started as per usual. Around lunch time, we moved all our lights and camera up to the press box to film the announcement of the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling team. It was neat to see that. Most of the athletes were there - good luck to them in Sochi! It was also cool to be up in the Winnipeg Jets pressbox on catwalk level. I love that sort of backstage privilege opportunity! Then I had dinner with some of my favourite CCA people. I sound like a broken record, but catching up with and learning more about the lives of some of the regular crew is my favourite thing about these events. 

Notice Jeff Stoughton's goofy toque (in white)? The end of that Stoughton/Howard game was neat - Glenn slid all the way down the ice with the rock as Jeff held the broom for his last shot. It was an awesome way to end the Olympic run of these two great skips.

Here's the view from the Winnipeg Jet's press box (also called gondola, you can also see the catwalk). I love going to cool places in arenas like this. Like really, I stood where NHL players sit during games!

Women's tiebreaker game. Carey has my favourite jersey colour of the event (purple). I also liked Homan's (teal), Koe's (navy) and Morris' (bright green). Too bad they won't sell jerseys, I would love an Alberta one. Something about how it devalues actually earning one and tradition?

The 2014 Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team was honoured on the ice. Good luck in Sochi!

Saturday, December 7, 2013
Today I set my alarm wrong and woke up late. Good think there wasn't a morning draw! I made it to the arena in time to gobble up some lunch before heading off into the crowd to find super volunteer Jean! She had emailed me saying she was in town, and I was glad to chat for a few minutes with her. It's so nice to keep a connection going. This is the third event I've had a chance to meet up with Jean - even if it's just for a quick 5 minute chat. Cool!

First was the men's draw. Pretty unpredictable event eh? Then after a quick dinner, it was the women's final. I mostly watched it on the tv in the IT room, only catching a few minutes on the ice. I heard earlier in the day they were filming scrums on the ice and I was really worried about shooting an orange shaky video. In the end, the other IT guy filmed the scrums and I held the mic. As soon as the game ended, we rushed onto the ice. I knelt on the ice with the microphone and he shot the video. So there I was, kneeling below all the cameras and microphones - quite the view. Perhaps a bit unorthodox, but it worked. After a quick initial scrum, they presented medals and jackets and took official photos, then we filmed a few more media interviews. Edit. Post. Bedtime!

My favourite announcers ready to call the men's semi.

Martin vs Morris in the semi. Is this the last time we'll see Martin at the big show?

My awesome view of the ladies final. This lasted like 5 mins then I had to move.

Team Canada! Congrats Team Jones!

This was my view of the scrums. Weird, but it worked.

Sunday, December 8, 2013
The tragedy of today was the fact that I checked in for my flight tomorrow as soon as I could, 20 hours early, yet I was put on stand by. My ticket was bought and paid for, (has been for months), I checked in on time, yet I'm the one who might get stuck in the Winnipeg airport tomorrow because Air Canada oversold the flight. And yes, I stressed about this all day. It's not fair to me, a customer who did nothing wrong. Why do I get bumped because they can't sort out their ridiculously greedy business practices? The other IT guy was in the same situation for his Toronto flight. 

Anyways, eventually I made it to the arena, in time to watch the majority of the men's final. Pretty exciting buzz in the building! During the 8th end, I helped move and count some programs, then it was a repeat of the women's final - hold the mic during the scrums, edit, and post. I didn't have too much to do with take down, which went smoothly from all I heard. They tear down the place in about 2 hours! Good thing because there's a Winnipeg Jets game in the arena on Tuesday.

We spent the rest of the night at Boston Pizza - one final dinner for the IT crew. The end of these events are always bittersweet. It was a loooooong week and I really wanted to go home, but I always miss the people, and the cool view of the ice. Until next time!

Jacobs vs. Morris. Both impressed me this week with their professionalism with the media. And they played mostly lights out as well!

Bryan Mudryk interviews the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), and I had a front row seat.

Team Canada! Congrats Team Jacobs!

And that's it! Game over. Until next time!

Monday, December 9, 2013
We got to the airport just after 5am. I was assured I wasn't on stand by, but that my seat would be assigned at the gate. Except the agent put a stand by tag on my luggage. Air Canada lied. Eventually though, an agent did give me as seat (and Ferbey too, who was in the same boat!) and my luggage made it home. And my car started. So I win. I won't be flying Air Canada by choice ever again though - that situation was ridiculous and unnecessary!

Regardless of how I got home, it's good to be here. I missed my cats!