Yesterday I had a very special opportunity (courtesy of our good friend, Allyn Mann from Adequan) to tour the International Broadcast Center (IBC) at the Olympic Park with Jamie Saults from NBC. Jamie is an endurance rider and enthusiastic horse owner, but also directly involved in the production of NBC equestrian coverage for the Olympics, The Kentucky Derby, and many other major competitions like WEG. I believe she told me she has been involved with every Olympics since ’88. Wow, I’m sure that she has an interesting bank of experience! My brain is about busting just cataloging the events of THIS Games.
While I couldn’t take any pictures in the actual building, I can share some of the things that we saw through my own recollection. The IBC is like a city unto itself, complete with health centers, stores, pubs and a Starbucks. Over 2K people from NBC alone are involved in producing the Games and they take great care to make sure that their employees and associates are comfortable during their time here. There is so much involved in even what seems to be the most basic aspect of making this event happen. Patrick, an ex-British military guy, took us through what is involved in just coordinating transportation during the event. He has a massive white board with all kinds of symbols and tags that he moves around to track the fleet of vehicles real-time. He might as well be “pushing tin” at Heathrow air traffic control – it all looks QUITE complicated!
We were able to take a quick peak at some of the sets, which was a total thrill. And, see the offices for equestrian and a number of the other sports…each one has a dedicated team and they rotate through office space based on the timing of the events, for example, equestrian might share space with mountain biking or archery.
So many people make this whole thing happen, from the “fetchers” to the entire department devoted to researching athlete back-stories, turns-of-events, etc. Thanks to Jamie and Allyn for the amazing experience!