Sunday, August 24, 2008

That's All for Now

Well the Torch is officially out in Beijing and the olympic flag has been past on to the Mayor of London... the host city for the Summer Games in 2012.

I can't believe it's already time to go home. Its been so much fun to be a part of another Olympics and especially an historial one.

Since this might be my last post, I hope everyone enjoyed reading the blog and all my experiences over the last 3 weeks here in Beijing.

I will be back in the states Tuesday. Until next time... 再见 (Goodbye)


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Great Wall

I finally made it to the Great Wall yesterday. Despite the long day and having not slept in over 24 hours, 10 of us took a bus up to the wall. Thank goodness for the hour bus ride so I was able to take a little nap! One of the guys arranged a tour which was wonderful. Our guide, Woo, spent the first part of the bus ride telling us about where to go and see in Beijing... but he stopped talking when he noticed that everyone was starting to fall asleep. It was great to venture out with some direction! I was getting tired of it always being the blind leading the blind.

We arrived around 5:45pm but it was the perfect time. The weather was awesome, sunny but not too hot. Yesterday was like the first day that I needed my sunglasses. The weather is always great the day after it rains. Anyway, we took a lift up to the wall and spent a little over an hour walking around and hiking up the stairs but I did reach the top. (It was the tall stairs that got me because my legs are so short). If you look at the picture I walked all the way to top!

The view was amazing and because of the clear skies you could actually see. We left the Great Wall around 7pm and were able to see the sunset, it was beautiful!

Now with just 3 days left, I hope to get to see more of the sites of Beijing!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Heinekin House

I mentioned that every country has a house... and over the past 3 olympics the best "party" house is the Holland House (aka Heineken House). So a couple of nights ago we went to the US men's basketball game and then to check out the house and by house I mean palace. We gave the address to the cab driver and I was shocked when we pulled up to this huge house with spotlights out front...

It felt like a fraternity party. There was a huge outside area with tables to sit at as well as ping pong tables and inside there was a big dance floor with a band. Oh yea, only Heineken beer was served. Of course it was a late night and I had to be up at 5am the next morning. I was definitely hurting when I got to work!

The USA men's basketball game was fun too. Some of the dunks were ridiculous!!

No Time for Sleep!!

Today has been one of the most exciting/exhausting day so far. I switched shifts at work so that I could go to the gold medal beach volleyball match this morning. It was pouring down rain but we bought ponchos and stood out in the rain and watched an incredible match. It was exactly the game I was hoping for... Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won in 2 sets but the match was close the whole time, plus they were playing a China team so I got to see first hand how crazy the fans are.

After that game I went home for a little nap before going to the gold medal softball game. One of the girls I work with knows some of the players on the team and their families so we actually sat with all of them during the game. It was fun and reminded me of high school softball with all the cheering and stuff. I am so use to sitting with the media that it was fun to be able to yell. The game was delayed for a little in 5th I believe because of the rain. Unfortuately the USA team didn't win gold.

And then I came straight to work and will be here until 4pm (that's a 19 hour work day). It was all worth it though... and now the late shift guys can have the night to go out!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Michael (Phelps) Mania

I am sure you all were wondering where my Michael Phelps post was the moment the US won the 4x100 Medley Relay. Things were so crazy in here that I did not have a moment to do write.

First of all, we were assigned the job of putting together a comp real for Phelps. We included his every heat race, every final and every medal ceremony with announcer calls. Also we found every feature, profile and interview that NBC ran throughout this Beijing Olympics. It turned out to be a monster project... a 3 hour DVD that was given to him when he was in studio yesterday after his race.

But what an incredible day for everyone here... I don't know how many people are working for NBC in Beijing but the entire NBC compound stopped what they were doing, screaming at the top of their lungs and watching as Michael Phelps made history. The entire staff even camped out in the hallway waiting for him to come to the studio.

It was pretty amazing to have been a part of it!

Making the Rounds

Not so consistant with these posts lately... sorry!

But in the midst of the long hours I have been able to see a few events... Two days ago I caught the Men's 100m final. That race was unbelievable. Usain Bolt is so fast and he could have recorded an even faster time had he not celebrated before crossing the finish line.
Here's a picture from the end of the race. Right behind that black camera you can kind of see Bolt's head and feet and then the rest of the runners crossing the finish line.

Yesterday I went to gymnastics. I saw the Women's vault, the Men's pommel horse and Women's floor. I am so sad that Shawn didn't win the gold but at least she and Nastia both medaled. I just wanted to hear the National Anthem but oh well hopefully I will see a USA gold medal ceremony.

Not sure what I am doing tonight. I still want to see USA basketball, softball and beach volleyball if I can swing it all. Oh I went to the USA House the other night. It was pretty cool. Every country has a house where you can buy shirts and stuff and then party a little. Sometimes the atheletes are there!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Exploring China Pt 2

Well last night we finally went to the famous night market. I really didn't think I would be eating any scorpians, silk worms, snakes, whatever but I wanted to see it for myself. Mary Carillo said the scorpians didn't taste like anything especially since it was fried. I kind of thought maybe I would be daring but as soon as I got down there, I changed my mind quickly because the smell was so awful!! I really thought I was going to get sick without even eating anything. I was walking up and down the street holding my nose.

My friend tried the silk worm and scorpian. I somehow ended up with fried shrimp... even those were disqusting and normally I love shrimp but it must have been the sauce on it. I ran into Dan Steinberg down there... so random but you can check out more pictures on his blog.

Anyway... What a sight!?

The Magic Touch

Oh my goodness... what a race!!! I thought the 4x100m free relay was going to be the best race of the games but not now! The entire NBC staff was yelling at the screen as we all watched Phelps barely win the 100m fly. WOW, that was way too close. The shots of Debbie Phelps were incredible. No one thought he pulled it out.

By the way: if you turned your TV off after the race, Cavic's coach filed a protest, but the outcome remains the same after looking at the overhead cameras. ((There are sensors along the wall that tell us who touches first just in case you were curious. The judges are there just to look for 2 hand touches and other technical stuff))

So Phelps ties the Mark Spitz's record and has one more event tomorrow at 10:58am Beijing Time which is 10:58pm ET and 9:58pm CT... the 4x100 medley relay.
Tune in tomorrow!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Exploring China Pt 1

Sorry I haven't posted a blog yesterday... the past few days were super busy and then I am so ready to get out that I don't have time to write!

Anyway, last night I went down to some art district. What we saw was neat but some of the places were closed because we didn't get down there until like 7- 7:30. I was a little skeptical about going but it was kind of cool. There was a ton of graffati on the walls and stuff that was really fun. I will post pictures later. We did go to a real chinese restaurant on the street but I chickened out and settled for fried rice. Hopefully later I will be more adventurous!

We met some of the Chinese military guys down there and the story of the night was that one of their phones was ringing and the ring tone was "We are the champions", ha ha! We also ran into a random girl who studied in the States and ironically she lived in Rockville, MD for little bit. (for those of you who don't know that's not too far from where I live) Small world!

Well after another exhausting day at work, I am out... I think I am headed to swimming!

PS... big day on primetime coming up: gymnastics all around and more michael phelps and swimming finals! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random things

I thought I would spend the morning tieing up loose ends. I totally forgot in addition to President Bush being in Studio yesterday. Chris Tucker was hanging out in the building. He was in the tape area where I work. Also Bela Karolyi has been hanging out alot. He has a segment on our show "Ring the Bela." Ha ha.

The rain was a huge help... I was walking around last night and the humidity and smog wasn't so bad and this morning it was kind of cool out and the sky was actually blue. Hopefully it will stay like this.

Here is the new picture of the Bird's next with the Torch lit.

And I went to the Water Cube the other night. It's got to be the coolest stadium.

Also if you remember I mentioned that there is always someone outside the elevators at my hotel... well I am starting to think they have cameras in the hallway or something because now before I even get to the elevator the down arrow is already pushed. Its kind of sketchy.

Time for the primetime show... go watch!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

What A Day!

It was quite the day for us in Beijing! After my normal morning routine (coffee and breakfast) I noticed extra security around the IBC. We were expecting a visit from President Bush. The secret service closed off one of the hallways. I almost got stuck on the wrong side. Anyway if you saw the primetime show then you heard the interview. I was busy with other things but I hear it was pretty good. Mr. President appears to enjoying himself over in China. He has been all over the place (at basketball, beach volleyball, swimming, everywhere). So that was kind of nice of him fit us in his schedule and join Bob in studio.

Next on the show... Live swimming finals. First an unfortunate ending for Katie Hoff. She totally should have run the 400m free but let it slip through her fingers literally. I felt so bad for her. Now the greatest finish ever was in the mens 4x100 freestyle relay. Please if you didn't see find it somewhere and watch it! It was unbelievable. The anchor for the US deserves all 4 gold medals!

There's no telling what's next! Hopefully the womens gymnastics team can get it together.
Sorry thats all i have for now. Time for me to leave work for the day!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rain rain go away!

First off, Phelps:gold in 400M individual medley --CHECK

We had a pretty big rain storm in Beijing today! I did not go outside but some of the guys I work with mentioned that streets were flooding. I saw some of the feeds from the venues and it was definitely coming down. There may have been some hail. Hopefully the rain clear up some of this smog or at least the humidity.
Even though I was not out in the rain, the weather did put a little damper on my day because a lot of the events were postponed and the cable show producers were asked to put together extra features in a short amount of time so we were slamming to find them the video. It wouldn't have been that bad except we were forced to search the archives because its so early in the games. No worries though, we got it all done and it was fine.

That's all I have for now. I am looking forward to tonight's basketball game USA-CHINA.

By the way I hope everyone enjoyed Opening Ceremonies. In case you missed it, a reported 70 million viewers watched!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Picture time

Here are some of the fireworks from opening ceremonies... I acutally fell asleep watching the parade of nations because yesterday was a rough one... but the fireworks woke me up and I was able to take these pics from my window

Here is a picture of the Olympic stadium (aka the Bird's Nest) pre torch lighting. I am planning on going to swimming after work and I will take a picture of the Torch.

Time to go back to work, I will post more pics later!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Must see TV

As I sit here watching the Parade of Nations, I wanted to write a quick post about the Opening Ceremonies that will air later tonight in the States. It's definitely something you don't want to miss especially the beginning.
It's simply amazing! I can't wait to watch the NBC broadcast tomorrow morning at the same time as you guys!

Daily Grind

I just realized I haven't really updated you guys on what exactly I have been doing everyday here in the Fetcher room. Yep that's what its called "Fetcher Room."

The last couple days we have been working mostly with the Promos department back in NY. Just as we are on 12 hours shifts so are the guys back there. Essentially around the clock, they are calling us or emailing us looking for video that they need for the todays/next day promos. Yesterday (Thursday) we got an email at 530am requesting footage and they needed it ASAP. Of course it wasn't simple stuff, it was waterpolo (hungary), women's volleyball (italy and russia), road cycling and women's field hockey. So we go and try to find past olympic video or any qualifiers etc for whatever they are asking for. Then we edit it together and send it down our direct path to NY. Today we had a similar request but at least all the soccer stuff was in our system (because play already started). Things will definitely be alot easier once the games get going because all the footage is more accessible and we are not running around looking for tapes.

Did I mention that it is freezing in our building? I am definitely enjoying the 24 hour starbucks and not just for the caffeine but to also stay warm. I wanted to go buy a blanket to keep in here, but one of the girls I worked with in Torino is bringing a heating blanket and since we are different shifts we can both use it!!!!

Time to go back to work!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Hi everyone!

I love hearing from you guys too! Don't forget to write comments... or if you don't want to, then send me an email

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The CNCC Grand Hotel

So now lets discuss my hotel...
Some of you might not know but it is a brand new hotel and doesn't even officially open until July 2009.
Just the design and features in the room are so modern. To unlock the door, you don't use a key or slide a key card in, you just hold the key card up to a panel kind of like you would a fob to get into a building. Then you put the key card into a panel and that triggers the lights and the TV to turn on. (oh yea my tv is a like 32" flat screen). The bed is very comfortable and each day when its turned down, they lay a bathroom robe on it for me, ha ha.

Someone from the hotel that stands right by the elevators 24 hours a day. Every time you leave its like a race to the elevators to see who can push the button first. And when you get home they walk you to your room. The first time I thought they were going to follow me in.
One the best things is the closeness to work. It takes less than 5 minutes for me to walk over. One of the weirdest things is the whole water thing. We have to brush our teeth with bottled water. The hotel does provide us 2 bottles every day so that's good and there is a ton of bottles at work that I could always bring back to the hotel if I need it. I am so scared I am going to forget one day! It's the same everywhere... you are not supposed to drink tap water at all.
We all wondered why more NBC people are not staying at the CNCC Grand and I heard the "higher ups" didn't know what to expect because it was a new hotel and that they couldn't accommodate as many people as the Crowne Plaza where most of the NBC top execs, talent, top production people and others are staying. They are just a little bit further away and have to take a bus to work. Apparently the CNCC Grand is nicer!! Yeah!
So now you know where I am staying. I took pictures but again I am having a hard time posting them!
That's all for now!

Let the fun begin!

Not too much to report from yesterday (Tuesday)... just another slow day.  We did do a test feed back to NY to make sure everything was working properly.  Yeah no problems!

Last night we went to "Hou Hai" which is a little area with tons of bars and restaurant surrounding a lake.  It was pretty neat.  The people here are really nice... almost too nice.  They bombard you to try and get you to go inside the bar and then hang over your shoulder until you decide what you want to drink.  I know they are just trying to be helpful. :)  My favorite was the guys that came up to me on street and just said "beer."  It was funny.  A bunch of the places had live music/ cover bands singing all kinds of music.  Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to try the food but I will once I get on my regular shift.  
By the way cabs are super cheap a 20 minute ride costed 30 rmb which equals like $5.  

I got home around 1:30 and went straight to bed because I had to be up 5:30.  I woke up to the sound of a phone ringing... but it didn't sound like my ring.  I finally figured out that it was my NBC china cell phone.  It was one of the producers from NY trying to get some soccer video for a feature to run in 12 hours.  Luckily it was someone I knew but apparently they had been trying to contact someone for like an hour.  I looked at the clock and it was 7:30; my alarm didn't go off.  I jumped in the shower and went straight in (its a good thing it is a 5 min walk to work).  We were able to find the video no problem, so I guess you could say we passed our first test because the producer got his footage at 8:35!

Kind of an eventful 12 hours... LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

All Work and No Play

Yesterday (Monday) was spent getting familiar with the equipment we will be using throughout the games. It is all pretty much a refresher, however I am still struggling with the whole sleep thing. As of right now, I am working the 6am to 6pm shift... which should be good. Everything seems to be changing from what I was originally hired to do but I know once the games start it will be busy in here. A few of my friends had some time off yesterday to go to the Great Wall. Hopefully I will be able to find a couple of hours to go see it. I hear its like an hour and half away.

In my earlier post I mentioned the smog... whoa! It's not so bad in the morning but in the afternoon you don't even want to be outside. We had an hour break because there was a power outrage in the an area of the building so everything had to be rebooted. It was a good thing that didn't happen during the games!!! Anyway I went outside and I immediately walked back in!!

I am sure people are wondering about the food... the NBC food is fine not great but there is 24 hour starbucks and since it is so freaking cold I am probably getting more than I should just to stay warm. The plan tonight is to venture out and maybe try some of the food. I will let you know!

That's all for now!

I took a few pictures of some the stadiums the other night. They are very neat especially all lit up. I was trying to attach the photos but can't. I will try again later!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I made it

After a long flight, I finally made it to Beijing at about 4:45 local time. For those of you that don't know, the time difference is 12 hours ahead eastern, 13 hours ahead central. All in all the flight was good... finished my book, watched a couple movies, and slept a little. I sat next to Bill the voice for all the opens/ promos. He was a pretty cool guy.

The hotel I am staying in is so nice!! Its brand new and walking distance to the IBC (International Broadcast Center) where I will spend most of my time. More on the hotel in a later blog.
The weather is hot and muggy. I think we are suppose to get some rain later in the week. There is smog but not too bad.

I am at work now and still figuring out the plan and my hours!
Gotta run!


Sunday, August 3, 2008


I'm sitting in the Chicago airport waiting to board for the 14 1/2 hour flight to Beijing. After a rough start, an hour delay leaving DC I received some good news when I got to O'Hare... I was asked to select an envelope and I won the lottery by being upgraded to business class! There a lot of familiar faces from previous Olympics including a few new guys to note, Chris Collingsworth, Mike Breen, and Craig Sager.

Got to go get on the plane, more updates to come!


Thanks again Chuck for taking me to the airport.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Packed and Ready to Go

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my new blog... I hope to post at least something every day or every other day just to keep you guys updated. And if I can figure it out, I will include pictures!

Well I am all set for my trip. I hope that I have everything that I need. I am very excited to be going to Beijing to cover my 4th olympics. Obviously there are some nerves because I am not sure what to expect in China, but I am in good hands. My flight is bright and early tomorrow morning. I will be catching the NBC charter in Chicago that takes us directly to Beijing. Its a long flight so hopefully after a glass of wine I will go to sleep. Once I know more about what I am doing and what my hours will be. I will let you know.

Please email me at I would love to hear from you!