London 2012 (07.28.2012) – The Games At Your Fingertips

You’d think that there’d be a lot of energy at the IBC on the first day of competition at London 2012.

Well, there was. Just not as much as you’d think. The late night from the Opening Ceremony (I didn’t get back to my hotel room until 2AM) clearly had a toll from some of the staff members at the IBC. There was a noticeable increase in Starbucks Coffee cups at Sports Desk and some coined the term “The Opening Hangover”.

Still, there was a lot of buzz from last night’s opening ceremony. From the surprise appearance from the Queen in a James Bond scene to the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron by some young unknowns.

The question on my mind was, is the cauldron staying in the middle of the stadium? After all, the athletics competition started in less than a week. I can’t imagine athletes throwing javelins through the cauldron. Some, however, were convinced that the cauldron was staying put.

I agreed with others that the cauldron should have been somewhere a little more visible, so that others visiting the park but didn’t have a ticket to the stadium could see it. The whole point is that the flame is meant to inspire athletes in all sports, not just those competing in the stadium.

But what do I know, I’m just a logger that stays inside the IBC.

Better Than Your Cable System…

I don’t care if you have DirecTV, Fios, Time Warner Cable with a gazillion channels. When it comes to the Olympics, I’ve got the best remote ever.

So at my desk, there are four separate decks, each attached to a monitor, and below the decks is a router, where you can punch up a four-digit code (usually a combination of letters and numbers) and call up literally any camera or feed available from the Broadcasting Operation Center (BOC) which is just down the hall.

You can punch up any four-digit code on the keypad and watch any event you want during the Olympics.

Before the games, I could only pull up beauty cameras or studio cameras from within NBC. I could also pull up any edit suite and see what someone might be editing (kinda creepy). But now that the games have started, I also have access to any feed that OBS is providing, as well as the NBC feeds.

So if I want to watch the world feed for the gymnastics qualifications, I can just punch in GY1H and I’m at North Greenwich Arena. If I want to watch that same gymnastics competition, but with NBC’s cameras and commentary, GY01 is all that I have to punch in.

And I have a whole list of feeds that can keep me busy when I’m not logging. And with five monitors at my desk, it’s pretty much the ultimate setup for the mega-Olympics fan such as myself.

List of codes for NBC/World Feed Cameras.

Romney Horse

I logged a couple of shoots today and one of them provided me with some insight on an often misunderstood sport – Equestrian Dressage.

Equestrian’s other disciplines, show jumping and cross country, are very intuitive. Horse and rider jump over obstacles and aim to do so in the shortest amount of time without knocking any fences over.

Dressage, however, to the naked eye is simply a horse and rider trotting along a square area of dirt. At least that’s what I thought. It’s nickname is horse gymnastics. And from logging this interview with Jan Ebeling, a 53-year-old first time Olympian competing for the US in equestrian dressage, I now have a lot more respect for the discipline.

Jan Ebeling riding his horse, Rafalca.

Ebeling’s story is in itself, remarkable, regardless of the sport. There aren’t many first-time Olympians who are over the age of 50. And the horse that he is riding, Rafalca, is partially owned by Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. So there’s already a lot of attention on Ebeling and Rafalca.

What I learned about dressage was that you have to be very fit in order to control your horse.

“The better you get at it, the more it likes like the rider just sits there and goes for a stroll and the horse is doing all the work,” Ebeling said. “And the horses are doing a lot of work but so is the rider. But it takes years and years of training to get that body control, to get that balance.”

And when it looks like that the horse and rider is doing nothing? Well that’s the point. If it looks so easy, that means the rider has full control over the horse.

“The power that it has, the powerful movements of the horses and the ease that we can control those horses,” Ebeling said. “Realize that it takes years and years of training to get to that point.

“It’s a wonderful journey.”

Watch the story about Rafalca’s Journey To London here.

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