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Olympics: Behind the Scenes

It is hard to believe the Olympics have come and gone for another year!  As Canadians we can be proudly say the 2018 Winter Olympics is officially Canada’s most successful Winter Games ever!  We, as a community,  were very fortunate to be so connected to the games as we cheered on one of our own alumni, Elisabeth Vatchje.  What you may not know is we also had Bruce Peart, an uncle to another alumni, Lexi Peart, at the games.  Bruce was not there to compete, but rather he was there to make sure the world could see Elisabeth compete. 

A few interesting "behind the scene" facts:

  • It takes alot of people to make sure the world sees the Olympics. There were over 7000 staff working for the Olympics Broadcasting Services (OBS).  The is the media organization that get the broadcasts out to the world for every Olympics. To put that number in perspective, there were 3000 athletes competing.
    • Bruce, as the Venue Technical Manager, was responsible for the broadcast signal coming out of the Sliding Centre going to the world.  Pyeong Chang was his 11th Olympics so he had alot of experience to do the job well.    
  • There were 50 cameras along the sliding tracks to follow the athletes when they were competing.
    • Installing the cameras was very difficult as the track was 2 km long with about a 200m vertical rise.  Getting up and down the hill to get everything working was logistically difficult. It took over 100 staff to set up the cameras.
  • The International Broadcast Centre (pictured below) is the centre of command for all broadcasts.
    • All the signals from each venue goes through the International Broadcast Centre. Companies like CBC and NBC buy the rights from OBS to be able to broadcast.  Some of the TV Stations, like NBC, had a studio in the Broadcast Centre.
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