Very fortunate to have worked under generally dry conditions this weekend, with the exception of about 2 hours of drizzle on Super Bowl Sunday. (Looks like some ONE read my last loaf*) Since I’ve been outside for my shifts thus far, I think I’m due for some time at the athletes load zone located inside the ROO parking lot, where all the action is. That being said, B, who worked there on Friday and Saturday, told me about the apparent pompous attitude shown by some of the European skaters. It seems waiting 5 – 10 minutes for the van to leave was a very stressful experience for some of them. I suppose waiting is just not part of a speed skater’s DNA.
As mentioned previously, very few media came to cover the training sessions so the hours were spent chatting with bus drivers and my team members. On Saturday morning, one of them didn’t show up so Shorty Yank had to borrow someone from Parking & Permits to work with me. That’s how I met Impark girl.
She, like the rest of her group, was paid by Impark to work at the various check points surrounding the ROO. At the same time, she also gets to enjoy a lot of the volunteer benefits as well. Young and energetic, Impark girl shared a few funny stories about her group and her area of responsibilities. Before we parted ways, she told Shorty Yank that she would love to work with our group again in the future because we have chairs to sit on!
But the highlight of Day 2 was, without a doubt, the opportunity to sit and watch some training sessions inside the Oval. The venue general manager, a former Swedish Olympic speed skater who competed in the 94 Lillehammer games, was kind enough to arrange 3 sessions for the ROO work force to attend. Although I was only able to stay for 45 minutes, it was time well spent and I think I gained a lot of appreciation for the sport of speed skating that day.
On Sunday, I met Gameday Jen who, like Impark girl, was paid to work the games full time. She works closely with Shorty Yank to ensure the media buses were on time and deployed efficiently. Essentially, she is the 3rd-in command for our team. And then there’s Mr. B.C. Hydro, my partner for the afternoon.
Slender looking and well spoken, Hydro and I spent the afternoon chatting with this bus driver from Dallas. In fact, a number of them came here from places such as Texas, Florida and Alabama to work these games. After speaking to them, I regret to report they are the typical Americans who still think Canadians wear parkas and live in igloos. They were genuinely surprised by the lack of snow around town.