My PyeongChang Diary

Banner 2Banner 1On the 2nd of February I took a 14-hour flight to South Korea – and my first Olympic experience.

IMG_5996I don’t normally talk about my television work on this blog.

I post a great deal about my theatrical passion projects, performing comedy onstage – but making TV is what I do to pay the bills. It’s fun. But it’s basically comfy factory work.

However, my latest TV gig is a real adventure. So, I’ll try my best to share what I can about my experience in PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

I’m here as part of small crew tasked with crafting a short documentary on 20 years of Olympic Snowboarding. It’ll air before the closing ceremony. I’m used to writing and producing documentaries – but being a tiny part of the vast Olympic media machine is a whole difference scene.

IMG_6008IMG_6009The venue where we’re doing our work is called Phoenix Park. It’s where the extreme sports are happening: snowboarding, moguls, freestyle skiing – the stuff that’s really nuts!

I’ll be following the mad snowboard action in halfpipe, slopestyle, snowboard cross – and this new, truly crazy event called Big Air.

At the moment, the athletes haven’t started their practice runs yet, so the Phoenix Park compound resembles a hastily assembled military installation. Large vehicles parked side by side, folks in uniform bustling around from mobile unit to pre-fab trailer, passing thru security checkpoints, flashing IDs, and talking in a jargon that’s sometimes even harder to understand than Korean.

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The nerve center of the International Broadcast Center. I think they need a few more monitors.

5a772526fc7e93fb628b4567Point of information: When my father was in Korea in the early 1950’s — he really was in a military installation. If that’s what you’d call the front lines of the Korean War. Lucky for me, North and South aren’t trading artillery volleys like they were in my dad’s day. In fact, I watched the North and South Korean unified Olympic women’s hockey team play on TV this morning. It was a great thing to see.

IMG_6004Unlike my G.I. dad, who spent his time dodging mortar rounds and freezing his butt off in a tent pitched in what is now the DMZ — I retire each day to the White Hotel, a comfortable, if entirely antiseptic lodging just a short walk from Phoenix Park. Each night the hotel hosts a beer garden in the lobby. Koreans are big on beer. Chardonnay not so much. In fact, I’m still in search of a good Chardonnay. (Okay, so my father’s wartime hardships were worse — but then again, he was never a white wine guy.)

IMG_6001In a couple days, the snowboard events get underway.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how our little documentary unit fits into this whole operation.

Soon enough, the real Olympic adventure will begin.

Stay tuned.

And now a Korean word from Dr. Suess…

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18 Comments

Filed under Adventure, History, Sports, Travel

18 responses to “My PyeongChang Diary

  1. really glad to read about this gig, and how you see things there. stay warm.

  2. Beatrix Rashid

    I am so happy you are posting from South Korea. Keep ‘em coming.

    Your avid reader,

    Bea

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. I expect you step in and hit the Big Air ramp Pablo. We need the real inside scoop!

  4. Anonymous

    Love this!!! Will follow closely!!

  5. Why would Ron try to post anonymously? What the hell is he planning?

    I’m going to follow this blog closely — and the more pictures, the better!

  6. Jim

    Sounds like an interesting project. Nice comment about your dad. Looking forward to hearing more.

  7. kevinmartinking

    My dad was there during the Korean War as well; on an aircraft carrier: the U.S.S. Tarawa… a holdover from WWI with a wooden flight deck. No beer, or Chardonnay on board. But he played a hell of lot of pinochle, and drank his weight in coffee, keeping the Commies at bay.

  8. I love that you’re posting from South Korea! More more more!! How’s the food? xoxoxo

  9. Rush

    Flim a load of clams!

  10. What a fun and interesting experience, Paul. Thanks for filling us in. Though I’ve never tried it, I understand that if you mix a little kimchi with beer, it turns into chardonnay.

  11. Linda E

    Love it. Yes, keep em coming!

  12. Anonymous

    How exciting!!! I’ll be following along. Looking forward to reading about your experience.

  13. Jon

    I’ve always wanted to work at an Olympics (aside from volunteering in 84), so I’m very envious! Have you been scouring historical footage prior to your departure? Do you have the two weeks to write and edit? Get your own bay? I’m so curious how that all gets scheduled!

  14. Elda Borroni

    Congrats! You never cease to amaze me.
    You have to let us know when you documentary will be shown. Meanwhile, have fun and enjoy the adventure.

  15. Karon Kearney

    Can’t wait to hear more. Fascinating…

  16. Elizabeth Dowd

    So cool to be “up close and personal “on your Olympic journey. Breath deeply of that Big AIr, Paul!

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