Monday, May 23, 2022
HomeDanceMelanie’s #OlympicBlog – Past Capital Indoor Stadium

Melanie’s #OlympicBlog – Past Capital Indoor Stadium


After the free dance and the medal ceremony, I began to really feel acutely conscious that the Olympics had been rapidly coming to an in depth. The ladies’s quick was the day after the free dance, after which there was a break day, after which we closed the Olympics with 4 consecutive days of skating occasions—girls’s free, pairs’ quick, pairs’ free, and gala. 

I nonetheless hadn’t been to curling, pace skating (lengthy observe), or hockey, of the sports activities within the Beijing cluster. I briefly thought-about taking the prepare to the mountains or sliding centre on the day between the ladies’s quick and free, however then remembered that I didn’t carry the correct of chilly climate and snow gear. So I lastly realized the right way to use the MyINFO web site to search for schedules and deliberate out the week. Sadly, I rapidly realized that I’d misinterpret the schedule earlier on, and we wouldn’t have the ability to see a pace skating race, as they had been all on the identical days as skating. 

For the reason that medal ceremony was a bit late, and it took some time to get again to the lodge on buses, I took it straightforward on Tuesday morning. Danielle and I made it to breakfast simply earlier than the meals service ended, after which went again to our room and labored from the lodge till mid-afternoon. I felt refreshed and like I used to be capable of do nice work on the girls’s quick, and I cherished seeing some actually wonderful skates. Wakaba Higuchi and Kaori Sakamoto had been the highlights of the night time for me.

On Wednesday, Danielle and I acquired going a bit earlier (although not too early!) and went to the Ice Dice for a girls’s curling spherical robin session. We had been excited to see the USA match up towards Canada. This American (me) had been explaining curling guidelines to the Canadian (Danielle) for every week and a half, each time we noticed it on a TV within the MMC. So we had been each amped and prepared. We’d heard from a buddy that Bing Dwen Dwen was usually seen on the curling venue, and frolicked on the ground, contained in the Closed Loop, the place determined photographers (like us) might get photographs with him. Sadly, there was no Bing Dwen Dwen sighting on Wednesday morning. The Canadians gained the match and stayed alive within the event, which I used to be completely satisfied about. My affection for curling positively has its roots in Canada.

Curling must be the chillest sport on the Olympics. We arrived about an hour after the matches had begun, but we had been nonetheless capable of stroll as much as the photograph desk and get a Area of Play sleeve. We had been solely the sixth and seventh photographers that had requested one. And so long as you’re quiet, the etiquette appeared to be that you might simply roam across the sidelines and {photograph} from completely different angles. For those who had been in a rush, you might simply get a very good number of curling photographs in about twenty minutes and name it a day, however I needed to see how the matches ended, so we stayed for the entire session. The curling venue’s media centre had barely completely different snacks from skating, however the identical Coca-Cola concession stand, so I acquired a flat white, and we labored on photographs for a bit. The venue was the swimming and diving venue for the Summer season Video games in 2008 (the Water Dice), so the press room was manner greater than it wanted to be for curling. I’m positive it was packed in 2008!

After a bit, we headed to the bus cease, missed a bus by one minute, danced within the chilly for about ten extra minutes, after which went again to the MMC to catch a bus for the Oval (pace skating venue). The bus completely crept via site visitors on the way in which again to the MMC, and we missed the bus to the Oval by about two minutes. Because it wasn’t a contest day, buses had been solely working to that venue as soon as an hour, so we had been caught on the MMC till the subsequent one. Because of this, we solely acquired to see one coaching session on the Oval; it was for the ladies’s 1000m.

The Oval is a beautiful new venue, and I used to be glad that we acquired to see it, even when we couldn’t go to a race. We had the photograph areas nearly to ourselves, in order that was very nice! I couldn’t imagine how lengthy it took us to stroll round to the quick finish of the observe, but the skaters might blitz down the lengthy facet in just some seconds. Many of the skaters appeared to be taking it straightforward the day earlier than their race, so nearly all of my photographs positively appear like follow photographs—ponytails out and glasses off—however a few the athletes did a lap or two with their hoods and glasses on, and I used to be capable of crop them in so that they appear like an actual race shot. For this reason I really like going to ice dance practices—the groups normally put on their costumes, so I can get actually nice photographs from completely different angles than I may need in the course of the occasion.

We headed again to our lodge sooner than standard, and in consequence, ended up on the bus with a man named Fred, who’s a supervisor for the Olympic Broadcasting Companies (OBS). OBS is accountable for offering prime quality broadcasts to any nation that desires it (and pays for it). Solely a few international locations ship their very own digital camera crews to occasions for broadcasting (I noticed USA and Japan for positive at determine skating). They’re additionally answerable for doing the entire setup to make these broadcasts doable. So Fred advised us that he solely had two weeks off after Tokyo, and he’d been in Beijing since September. He’d carried out the 21-day quarantine to enter Beijing, so from October to the start of January, he might transfer round freely in and round Beijing, and he mentioned that he had a good time and actually cherished his time in China. He inspired us to come back again “when that is throughout,” each time that finally ends up being! 

We had dinner on the lodge on Wednesday night time, and it was low-cost, however not excellent. The lodge provided a number of set menus, which had been a whole lot of meals and an ideal worth, however they had been all “Western” fashion meals. I might have a lot most well-liked a set menu within the native delicacies. We watched a little bit of the lads’s hockey recreation within the lodge restaurant, and it bolstered our want to not attend a hockey recreation (simply not an enormous fan, not less than of the lads’s fashion of play). Then again to our room, the place we watched among the final night time of quick observe races and labored on enhancing, after all.

Thursday morning, I actually needed to move to curling once more, however Danielle had some fires to place out for her enterprise again residence, so I went to the Ice Dice by myself. I needed to see the USA males as soon as, and it was the final session of the spherical robin. They wanted a win to advance to the medal spherical, they usually did it. I used to be a bit of teary, and it was humorous to see how chill they had been about it. I used to be shut sufficient to listen to their conversations, and after some nonchalant excessive fives, the skip mentioned, “Okay, subsequent step.” As soon as once more, curling is the chillest sport. 

After curling, I met up with Danielle on the MMC for a bit of little bit of enhancing time and a few lunch, after which we headed to the ladies’s free skate. Because of the doping controversy, I felt an uncomfortable vitality within the enviornment all through the occasion. I used to be additionally very drained by this level, and I felt like I wasn’t actually current. I remorse not feeling extra within the second, however the Olympics are fairly a marathon, and this was most likely my worst day. Everybody had form of assumed that Kamila Valieva would end within the prime three, and there would’t be a ceremony within the venue afterwards. In the long run, since she completed fourth, there was a venue ceremony, however neither Danielle nor I felt like we would have liked the photographs, so we determined to beat the frenzy and head out.

Nicely, we thought we might beat the frenzy. I failed to contemplate that a whole lot of media was within the constructing simply due to the controversy and to see the occasion, and wouldn’t be attending the press convention or the ceremony. So we ended up on a completely packed bus heading again to the MMC, which I don’t advocate. No less than we acquired again to the lodge a bit sooner than anticipated, although. (Nonetheless fairly late!)

After the shut of the ladies’s occasion, it actually began to really feel like our departure was imminent! We began getting notices left in our lodge room nearly day by day, detailing departure procedures. I began panicking about with the ability to get my COVID take a look at certificates (as a result of us leaving within the wee hours of the morning, I wanted a rush on my certificates, and had a tough time explaining this to the employees with the language barrier). I began planning how I would pack all the pieces up, however didn’t really begin packing something. And I considered what I would wish to accomplish earlier than I left—final photographs to take, final sights to see. It was exhausting to imagine that it was beginning to finish.

~ Melanie

 

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