News gatherers face their own Olympics trials

Verbatim

February 03, 2002

Excerpted from "A letter to Olympic Winter Games Credentialed Media from Bob Condron," director of media services, U.S. Olympic Committee:

... Some last minute thoughts, notes, survival techniques and tips as you continue your Olympic journey to the Great Salt Lake.

Remember the three C's of the Olympics:

* Credential

* Cell Phone

* Clothes

Be sure and have them with you at all times.

Security

Please check your frustration and impatience at the door. ... Access to any secured area will not remind anyone of the Oklahoma Land Rush. It'll be more like trying to check out of a hospital. A few things to remember about going through the checkpoints:

* If you wear a belt, be sure the buckle is no bigger than a grain of rice.

* If you have steel in your shoes or boots, you will not get to witness the Olympic Games in person.

* Try to make this a coin-less Olympic Games.

* Do not get angry, impatient, shout out at anyone, or make comments like "Will my grenade go through the metal detector, officer?" ... Figure that you're going to get behind a Bulgarian photographer who has an IMAX camera and a Cray Computer.

Special Ticketing

Two words that will live in infamy. Much like "You lose," "you're fat," "you're fired" ... "strike three" ... and "yo mama." Just because you have a credential doesn't mean you're going to get to see Michelle, Sasha and Sarah in the free skate. The IOC gives each country a certain allotment [of these tickets] and we have to figure out how to award those to journalists who, moments ago, spoke to us.

Sick

You're going to get sick. The question is how much, how bad and how much time you'll be in bed. Every one here is beginning to cough -- many times straight in your face. ... You can spot someone ready to douse the area; turn away or ask a really tough question (like, "Hey, buddy what's a triple salchow?") just before the sneeze. Sometimes it'll help.

Be aware of who you are shaking hands with. If it looks moist, just bow and say that shaking hands is against your religious beliefs.

Another health tip: watch who you follow on the phone. If that person looks green or is drooling, go to another. ... Don't drink after anyone [else], unless it's bourbon ...

Liquor

Despite reports to the contrary, you can buy liquor in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. As they said in Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way." Get here, you'll figure it out.

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