created on: Jul 17, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I got to interview Natalie Woolfolk of the US Weightlifting team today at the Pan American Games. She is 5'3' and 135 and it's all a bundle of energy. She won a bronze medal in the women's 63 kilogram class with a combined total of 213 kilograms (that's almost 470 pounds).
She was a great interview. She is small and perky and laughs readily. She likes to talk about life - not just about sport. She loves James Brown's music - which makes her a champion in my book. Before her bronze medal effort she was listening to "Get Up Offa That Thang" which she said pumped her up.
Natalie is the daughter of the...
created on: Dec 06, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I was privileged to get an interview with several members of the USA badminton team and their coach today at the Main Press Center.
Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong are the top US men's doubles team. They are the guys featured in the ad with Brain Urlacher of the Chicago Bears and David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.
Howard said he didn't even know who these guys were when they started the shoot, but then he was like "wow, those are some really big dudes." But the opportunity was great for badminton.
Apparently - according to Howard, Brian Urlacher is a badminton freak. He even plays it in the Bea...
created on: Jul 15, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sunset Sunday July 15 Rio de Janeiro Brazil.I Shot this photo before going to watch badminton at the Pan American Games. Badminton at this level is not for the back yard any more.
I did watch a couple of matches, one of which was over quickly. Turns out the whole USA Badminton team was on my flight coming down here. I watched Eric Go play some Brazilian guy.
The interviews did not pan out. The players went back to the Pan American Village, and they didn't come to the court to watch the night matches.
So I had to reschedule until tomorrow. Two of the players - Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong - are ...
I tried - successfully - to establish and use my voipdiscount.com account today to call home. It's basically a voice-over-internet provider (voip) phone service that allows me to call home or anywhere using my internet provider. I used it to call my wife Cornelia and we talked for about an hour - supposedly the call was free, but I noticed there was a $0.21 a minute charge which ate into the credits I purchased.
Calling the USA from Brazil was supposed to be free, but the credit did disappear. I will have to check that, but either way it was a hour phone call for way less than it would have cost over...
created on: Jul 14, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Since I don't have the broadcast rights to the Pan Am Games, I had to find a way around. I refuse to steal in the name of the United States, so taking my recorder/ camera into the venue without permission is out of the question. But I talked to the USOC, and they are very accomodating as far as getting interviews with US athletes. It looks like the American people might get their money's worth after all.
Also I got to meet Brian Casaneuve of Sports Illustrated. The Brazilians have worked out a plan to bilk the press out of money - they make you pay for a wi-fi card in the press center. They have had et...
created on: Jul 14, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I found out about the rights issue. I can't take my equipment into the venue. Nothing. I have to leave all recording equipment behind. Which sucks. I can go into the venue, I can watch the competition, I can even talk to the athletes. I just can't record anything. So I have to be basically a newspaper reporter.
The ironic thing is, if I were credentialed as an internet reporter instread of a broadcaster, I could do everthing. I could take my equipment into the venue, I could record interviews, I could do everything that not paying International Sports Broadcasting prevents me from doing now.
The 15th Pan Am Games got underway Friday with a glittering ceremony called "share the energy." It was typical Olympic- style stuff with lots of people in costume, lots of music, and lots of dancing. A couple of boring speeches by dignitaries and that was about it.
Today the competition is in full swing and I have five more working days. I am trying to clear up something about the venues.
They ahve these things called mixed zones where the reporters "mix" with the athletes after the races or competition. It's basically a cattle call of reporters trying to get quotes from athletes coming off the fi...
created on: Jul 10, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is a record of my trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Pan American Games.
July 8 2007
Dulles International Airport
I made it through security okay, but there was one little glitch. The guy at the gate did not stamp my ticket to affirm that I had shown him my ID, so the TSA people stopped me just as I was set to go through the metal detector. There I was, shoeless, with my belt and my hat and my laptop plus God only knows how much equipment in my carry-on. And they were telling me I have to go back through the line.
I was dumbstruck.
ME: You mean I've got to go ...
created on: Jul 11, 2007 | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Today I was the galloping photographer in Rio. The only way I could get to the sites I needed to video was to take a car, so I hired one. The driver was Local and charged me R$200 which works out to about $100. I also tipped him R$20, which was another 10, and I bought lunch.
But this driver, a Copacabana native named Andre Gadelha, knew how to get everywhere. He knew what roads to take, how to navigate Rio's unbelievable traffic, and he also schlepped my gear, which was an added plus because that stuff is heavy.
We first went to Sugarloaf Mou...
created on: Jul 03, 2007 | , District of Columbia
My flights are confirmed with United from Dulles to Sao Paolo and then to Rio. I stil have training to do with one of the telelvision techs from my agency before I go. That's not going to happen until Thursday - my last day in the office before the trip - because Wednesday is a holiday and people are off.
Things have come together at the last minute. The line for a visa at the Brazilian embassy was about 20 people long when I got there on Monday. They are very particular about dropping off and picking up passports. They only allow you to drop off your passport between 8:00 am and 12:30 pm and they o...
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