February 13, 2010

fired up

More non-stop busy days lately - again sorry for the gaps between posts. I generally am able to keep Twitter up to date since it requires little time to do so, so you can always catch updates there. And if you are following there, you already know that I unexpectedly ended up at the lighting of the Olympic cauldron Friday night. The location of the cauldron had been one of the biggest secrets of the games this year. Most Olympics have a large and obvious tower built that you see awaiting the flame before the games start, but Vancouver didn't. And since their opening ceremonies were in an indoor arena (a first), no one was sure what to expect. Rumors had leaked of a hydraulic cauldron in the floor of the arena, but it seemed unlikely they would leave the flame indoors for the duration of the games. Other rumors were about a location near the IBC (International Broadcast Centre) at the Vancouver Convention Centre (where I'm working while here). That seemed likely, but I didn't expect that the lighting of one there would be part of the ceremony - and if it was, I figured it would be by some remote switch or something triggered at the main arena. A coworker had mentioned a barge in the harbor that looked like one for fireworks, so we were talking about running outside to catch those, but once they lit the flame in the arena and announced that it would be carried through town to the other location, we realized that we could run out to see and be a part of it. We weren't alone, people working at all the different networks from other countries were also running out at the same time. We got outside to discover that, sure enough, a cauldron had materialized complete with spotlights and stage lighting. After a little while, a figure appeared with the flame, lighting the torch and triggering a huge fireworks show. It was exciting to be there, especially since it was so unexpected. In the midst of several days of nothing more than work and sleep, it was a great quick break from the work.

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