Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Closing

The Olympic Flame Moments Before it is Extinguished

The Closing. It has an air of finality to it. It can be emotional. When the flame goes out and the flag is lowered and handed off, I am sure the folks who played a role in these games, both origanizer or competitor feel a sence of meloncoly. I gues it would only be natural.

The closing had a number of special moments. For me it was being there. Not only was I there, I was there with the person, who whether she knows it or not, was the major influance on me getting into TV Broadcasting in the first place. Let me indroduce you to my Aunt, Susanne.
Susanne and her collegue Rick Brace had been in Turin since last Sunday. They were there as part of a CTV Network team that would be observing/ meeting and planning for the next winter games, the ones in Vancouver.
Susanne had called me earlier in the week to attempt to get together and have lunch or something. Our scheduals never seemed to work out so the week flew by without our chance to get caught up. Finally on Friday I was able to get our editing done early and instead of going out with the team for supper, I thought I would meet up with Susanne and at least spend some time.
She told me that she might have a ticket for me to the Closing Ceremonies. But she would call later if one came available. It was good to see her. Susanne is occasionally out in Vancouver on Business, but we do not get any time together. She's got her thing and I am usually out shooting somewhere.
Nine years ago she headed up the Startup team for the station that became CTV British Columbia. It had been the first project that we had both worked together on. It was a special time for us as we could each observe the other at what we did best. For me it was seeing how she could get people to work togehter, how she could make the impossable happen. To this day I still can't believe that we got the station on the air when we did. It had been a credit to her, and the team. We were all a team back then. We had to be.

She had worked her first Olympics back in Montreal and then onto Lake Placid. This was my first "working " games something that was not lost on her.
We enjoyed the drink we had at the end of the evening and I hoped that the ticket would work itself out. It did, in spades.
On sunday morning before I went to the hockey game with Vicki and Mike, my cell rang. Susanne secured tickets for the whole of my team. Mike, Brent and our driver Alby. Wow.
I was going to spend the last night of the games with my Aunt Susanne. It would be a special time and one that I will never forget.

Mike and I would sit with Susanne and Rick. It was Rick that was the "Ticket Master" and so I must say a special thanks to him for making this all possible.

Rick, Susanne, Murman and Mike at the Closing

Brent and Alby were on the other side of the stadium. Mike and I would only stay until the Vancouver portion of the show and then we would go and shoot some standups for the show outside the stadium before the crowds. The problem of course was our car was parked some 15 min walk from the stadium.
When we arrived, we found the crouds had gathered outside the stadium. They did not have tickets, but were there to watch the flame go out. The air was electric. The sound of low flying helicopters, made me homesick for my beloved Chopper 9. We waded through the crowd. All at once we heard a fimilar voice it was Lucia, Alby's Mom. Late in the day I had come across 2 more tickets from another source. Alby's parents opened thier home to us on the night of the opening ceremonies. We thought giving the extras to them would be a token of our thanks for thier hospitality. She was very excieted. They had not seen any events live, just on TV. I was glad she was going to go see the show. Alby's dad had fallen ill so his girlfriend went with his mom.

When Mike and I finally got in, it wasn't long before we ran into some fimilar faces. The VANOC Crew. Priemer Campbell, the whole gang. There was a great deal of excietment with the group, because they would have possession of the flag after tonight.

Mike with VANOC President John Furlong, Premier Campbell and Jack Poole

Mike and I got situated and then went to meet up with Susanne and Rick. When we returned to our seats the show was about to begin. I had taken the oportunity to call some family and friensds back in Vancouver to let them know that we were in the stadium. Dave Alexander, our Technical Supervisor and all round good guy, was most pleased that I called. He was in Whistler, gearing up for our big show for later in the day. I took a photos of myself as I spoke to him from the stadium.

Murman on the cell to Dave in Whistler

When the show finally began, I could help think of all of the work we had done together up to this point. It was good to sit down and drink in the spectical.
There were Three defining moments for me at the Closing. The first one is very personal, Susanne and I were there together.

Susanne and I at the Closing

The second moment actually took me back to our time with Alby's family for the Opening: At each closing ceremonies the IOC hads out the last medals of the games. In the Summer it's the Marithon Medals, in the winter games it's the 50K Cross Country Medals. It had been won by an Italian. The flag was raised and the whole stadium sang the national song. It was a beautiful moment.
The third was the moment that we had all been waiting for. The Flag handoff to Mayor Sam Sullivan. Man what a moment. I was caught up in the scene. You can clearly hear me say on my home video tape, "Thata Boy Sam. You Rule!" That was very cool.

Sam accepts the Flag and gives it a fantastic Wave Photo: Reuters

And as I said, I got to share these moments with family, my auntie Susie.

No comments: