Friday, November 1, 2013

100 Days To Sochi 2014

Originally published on SportCafé.ca

The stage was set.

CBC celebrated 100 Days to Sochi 2014 at their Toronto headquarters by introducing the broadcast team starting with an inspiring video.

Ron MacLean introduced the theme for CBC by talking about Adrienne Clarkson's recent book Room for Us All. He talked about their vision by sharing producer Chris Irwin's mantra:

 "Take Me Someplace and Tell Me a Story". 

Ron described the studio in Sochi as a room for us all, whether it's people who are lucky enough to be at the Olympics or whether it's people gathered watching on television. The Olympics is about togetherness.

Ron introduced Scott Russell by sharing his mission statement:

 "I will never meet someone for the first time when they come down from the podium". 

Scott wanted to know the athletes before the Olympics and know their story. This was the central theme for the 100 Days to Sochi event. CBC want to introduce Canada to the athletes, not only during the Olympics but in the days and weeks leading to the Games.

I started an Olympic themed blog a few years ago with the purpose of following the athletes year round rather than every four years. I now work with SportCafé, a website and a group of people dedicated to following athletes through their stories, their training, their competitions, their photos, their highs and their lows. I'm happy to see that CBC are not waiting until the Olympics for their Olympic coverage to start.

CBC have already introduced many of the Olympic hopefuls to Canadians with appearances and interviews on their programs. I love seeing athlete interviews and profiles, but find that the days during the Olympics are so jam-packed with competition, that there is little time to watch those extra features that are televised. I'm glad to see them already airing.

The 2014 Olympics will be the biggest winter Olympics to date with 6 new disciplines, 12 new events encompassing 40 more hours of competition. CBC and Radio-Canada will be joined by sub-licensees, TSN, RDS, Sportsnet and TVA Sports to offer 1500 hours of coverage. That is the equivalent of over 62 days jam-packed in 17 days! Their website,, will also feature live streams from every venue.

George Stroumboulopoulos who has been hosting many Olympic Athletes on his program, took the stage to introduce the Twitter hashtag #ourathlete encouraging Canadians to send supportive tweets to our Canadian Olympic hopefuls.

Jennifer Heil told the story of standing at the top of the course at Cypress Mountain for the 2010 Olympics. She said that she was nervous and didn't feel quite ready with 30 seconds to go. They announced her name and there was a roar from the crowd and in that moment she found the power to let it go. She spoke of the difference that Canadians make to the athletes when they send inspirational messages or in her case, roar when she's about to race.

Hosts that were introduced onstage included:

Overnight Hosts: Andrew Chang and Andi Petrillo 12am-6am ET (9pm PT)
Morning Hosts: David Amber and Diana Swain 6am-10am ET (3am PT)
Daytime Hosts: Scott Russell 10am-3pm ET (7am PT)
Primetime Host: Ron MacLean 7-11pm ET (5pm PT)
CBC News Network Morning Host: Heather Hiscox
The National, Mansbridge: Mansbridge: One on One host: Peter Mansbridge
Q Host: Jian Ghomeshi
Morning Olympic Report Host: Matt Galloway

Technology advances has made it possible to see any event live, but it has also made it more difficult to not find out the results if we PVR or watch the prime time highlights shows which will coincide with night time in Russia. Gone are the days when we could watch every hour televised. I look forward to studying the event schedule along with the broadcast schedule to ensure I see as many events "live" as possible. There's nothing like watching a competition when you don't know the result! Follow me on Twitter or on SportCafé where I will share my daily picks.

The telecast will begin on February 6 with a full day countdown to the Olympic Ceremony including the figure skating team event held that day.

The Opening Ceremony will be held at 8pm on February 7th (local time), 11am EST, 9am MT, 8am PT.

I can't wait!!

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