An Opening to Remember

February 18, 2010 | By Maxx Wolfson | Olympics, Sport

From  L-R is Matt Eades, Maxx Wolfson, Steve Rose, Ken Mainardis, Jessica Mainardis and Nick Dean. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Last Friday night I was one of the lucky few to be able to be inside BC Place for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics opening ceremonies. Sitting about 20 rows from the main floor in the press tribune, I was part of a team of four editors and four technicians whose job was to edit 10 photographers’ photos in nearly real time. As the editing team in the stadium did all the selecting of the photos, a team back at the Main Press Center captioned each picture that went out to all Getty Images clients and on the wire. Our stellar group of 10 photographers that we had in the stadium were strategically located all over the massive building capturing everything from a snowboarder jumping through the Olympic rings, the athlete’s entering, KD Lang’s performance of ”Hallelujah,” and Wayne Gretzky lighting the Olympic torch.

However, our team was severely delayed in actually getting into the stadium leading to some stressful moments. Trapped on a media bus that left from the MPC for nearly an hour and half, we sat outside the stadium on the bus with members of the NBC crew including host Matt Lauer and Lester Holt of NBC news. As Matt and Lester stayed calm, their producers were becoming very irritable as both men were scheduled to be on the air in just minutes. Blackberry’s went ablaze from all, as everyone on the bus began frantically texting people to see why the bus was just sitting outside. Eventually, our driver got word that the United States secret service was doing a sweep of the stadium to prepare for the arrival of Vice President Joe Biden. Secret service finally gave the go ahead and we hustled into the stadium.

Once we got into the stadium, our team quickly hurried to prepare for the ceremonies. We set-up up large monitors, docking stations and made sure that each photographer could send pictures to us through our hi-speed network inside the stadium. Almost four hours later, after the final picture was sent in, our editing team looked through 21,020 photos from the ceremonies. Despite the delays, it ended up being a fantastic night and one that I will never forget.

Let the games begin!

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