Photo by Kevin Fujii / The Seattle Times. A journalist falls asleep in the Main Press Center's bullpen Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010. Sleep is difficult to find while covering any Olympics.
I can’t leave the Olympics without paying a brief tribute to my home-away-from-home, the main press center (MPC) in downtown Vancouver, B.C. This is a place where journalists worked, ate, socialized and sometimes slept. It’s where the press maneuvered to get tickets to high-demand events like ice skating and hockey; where they sat often in the same place hour after hour, day after day. And when the days started to blur together, you’d wonder if some people had ever left at all.
It’s where information was constantly pumping in and out from live feeds of the events across Whistler, Cypress Mountain and Vancouver; where there is a 24-hour McDonald’s that was built in one day, according to an Olympic volunteer. It’s where all the outlets worked, the internet connection was ridiculously fast and dozens of TVs carried all the Olympic events live.
It’s where you’d hear occasional explosions of exasperation, as in “@&#^& Twitter!” presumably when someone’s twitter update had beaten someone else’s story. It’s also where you bumped into colleagues, past and present and where strangers would approach you to trade your Olympic pins.
It’s where deadlines were met, or not, and where you could go to get information on anything big or small. It’s first place you checked in and often the last place you left. While many might have stayed so long as to be sick of the sight of it, it still where you showed up everyday. It was press home.
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