Thursday, March 09, 2006

Breakdown of the '06 games

We are going to attempt to provide a background on our responsibilities, our favorite Olympic events and personal stories throughout this amazing month/”experience of a lifetime”.

Every 4 days approximately 350 guests of NBC GE will arrive in Torino on a chartered jet from NYC. While with us, they will get to view the Olympic games, participate in numerous activities and enjoy their stay in a brand new; five star Golden Palace Hotel, situated in the heart of Torino. Upon arriving in Torino we met our crew: the local Italians and the Americans. In total 35 guides helped facilitate the NBC Guide Client hospitality program. An all-star team, Chris Loftus, Sue Lynch and Matt Bijur, led the guides.

Now for a couple of our mentionable Olympic events and guest activities: We arranged a tour to Fontanafredda, a vineyard in Piedmont, where we learned the secrets of winemaking, and sampled a few glasses of their vino.

Opening ceremonies were held next to the Palasport Olimpico hockey venue, about a 15 minute drive from the hotel. We had to change the guest’s ingress route from P9 (the sponsor parking lot) to the venue at the last minute--luckily our team handled that like they had been working the Olympics for 20 years.

Gino’s favorite event was men’s ½ pipe snowboarding. On March 12, I took a group of guest to see Shaun white win gold and Danny Kass take silver. US dominated snowboarding. The venue, Bardonecchia, was situated in the Alps 90 minutes from Torino 1365m above sea level.

Tre's favorite events were the men's and women's free style alpine skiing mogols, the freestyle men's aerials, the men's hockey, and the men's short track. Watching Apollo Ano win the 500m gold was absolutely nuts. He really redeamed himself after his bronze in the 1000m.

On the program's final day, Feb. 26, we had the men’s gold medal hockey game and the closing ceremonies. Sweden beat Finland 3-2. Great all around game – go Peter Forsberg! The culmination of the program - closing ceremonies - was a very emotional expereince. The closing ceremonies signified the closing of the games, our program, and a very special momet in Italian history. Some of the circus acts blew our minds, particularly the indoor sky diving and the cirque du soleil ring master.


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