Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Games Have Begun
Here I sit writing this blog on Monday afternoon answering helpdesk calls and waiting for the staff to clean the venue after the completion of competition on our first event day. Saturday, February 13th was supposed to be our first day of competition but because of snowfall at the peak of the mountain and the limited visibility our events for Saturday and Sunday have been postponed. Saturday was supposed to be the Men's Downhill Skiing which got moved to this morning, and Sunday was supposed to be the Women's Combined run which got moved to Thursday. For the most part I think our first event day has gone pretty well. Cory was the other intern on-site with me today and since Steve Taylor, our representative from South Carolina is in town, I got to go up and watch the men's downhill. I knew very little about skiing in the Olympics before coming to Whistler but I have learned a decent amount from working at the venue and being in the area where the Olympics are taking place. I was cheering for Bode Miller, the well-known, often criticized American skiier who was in first for awhile but ended up taking the bronze. It was amazing to finally see an actual Olympic event because the buildup to the Olympics has been more than I have ever seen and heard for any other sporting event. This was the first time I had watched the Alpine skiing and I was truly impressed and surprised at how fast the skiiers were able to make it down what looked to be a very tough ski run. After getting back into the office I worked at the helpdesk for the rest of the afternoon and was happy to see that we did not get an enormous amount of calls. In all honesty so far the way Clean Event portrayed event days to go was that they were going to be a lot worse than they really are. Sure it gets hectic at times and workers spend time running all over the place but not near the scale I was instructed to expect. On our busiest day so far, today, we have gotten eleven calls to the helpdesk, when I was expecting an event day to venture somewhere closer to 30 calls. There is the possibility that just because it is our first day we have not had as many calls, so I may know more after a few days of events have passed. In an attempt to solve the problem of having so many of us in the office, Cory and I have made up an intern schedule allowing each of us to have a day off each week. Mine was yesterday but I helped out one of the girls at camp and worked in the camp office for half the day so that she could go and watch the luge. It was great because I got to sleep in until eleven and catch up on a few of the hours I had missed over the past week. Many of the venues are doing shift times in which people go in early and get off early, or go in late and get off late but at the moment it is nice to actually have a full day off. Today was exciting because I got to watch an actual event but for the most part the Olympics are just more work for the workforce. I am looking forward to having more days off come March and eventually getting back home to have days to sleep in and relax, rather than work helpdesk for 12 hours. Having said that, this experience really has been an awesome one so far. There are some rough times but for the majority of the time I have learned a lot about the nature of an event manager and gotten to experience some things most people do not get to in their lifetime. I'm excited to see what the rest of the Olympics and this trip brings but I cannot help but look forward to getting back home because of the people and places I miss.