Cameron Sylvester, a member of Canada’s outstanding lightweight men’s double sculls rowing crew, on his quest for the London Olympics in 2012, put together this gem of a video. You’ll get a sense of the hard work it takes to compete at this level. A tiny, tiny sense.
Next week, Kris Krug and Dave Olson will be talking True North Media House at an event in London called #media2012, and I like to think this is a big deal. True North Media House emerged in the leadup to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, as a vehicle to give a voice to the citizens walking, talking, and covering the Games — in a substantial way unlike previous Olympics. The world is changing — nearly everybody has simple means to share text and media about the world in the way they experience it, and, well, a whole lot of people do that passionately.
As it turned out, through the use of a simple hashtag (#tnmh) and keywords, from many websites and united around social networks, here was a pretty amazing experiment of what non official media can do to cover a massive localized event, like the Olympics.
At first, there was a lot of fear. The IOC was supposedly sending cease and desist letters to anyone sharing media about the Olympics, official events, and venues. Rumours were abound — the “IOC police” could enter a private residence and remove publicly-visible signage that was deemed destructive to the Olympics vision. We (as I consider myself/ourselves part of the TNMH impetus) had no idea what to expect. We urged each other to review the fine text and figure out what we could and could not do. Could we bring cameras to venues without official IOC certification? Could we publish photos? Could we say the word “Olympics”?
But this was Canada! But this was social media! But this was 2010! People felt violated. People protested — well, for whatever reason they wanted, and unfortunately often the reason was less important than the thrill of protesting.
Then the Games happened. And the C&Ds didn’t show up. And we went wild with media and words. Hats off to John Biehler, Kris Krug, Miss 604, even ourselves, NorthGeek (some of our coverage is here), AND SO MANY OTHERS for giving us the insider view on the Games and showing the world that we had a damn good time.
And then some media brands and the IOC wined and dined some of the alternative-media-elite. It was a nice gesture. It said, very gently, “we embrace the new media.” But as far as I’m concerned was a half assed, suspicious, and way overdue attempt.
At least, for us at NorthGeek, we often left the real equipment (SLR, tripod, video, etc) at home and went with whatever was on us — phones, Flip, WordPress, and Twitter — and left the long shots for someone else, and focused on the closeups, the insider, on-the-ground view of the Olympics. We wanted to show off Vancouver, the glory of these athletes, and that it was a fucking good time.
The legacy of TNMH
TNMH will ultimately stand as a lesson on how to make a community. We were not antagonist. We preached about being open, being fair, and being there. Did that work? Was that necessary? Weren’t there enough others being antagonistic and even violent?
In the end, the success of True North Media House was not about getting more people to use #tnmh tag. It was in empowering people to create content (who otherwise may not have) and showing a stodgy organization like the IOC to realize that the times are changing.
Well, let’s just keep pushing further for London 2012. Will that be in the guise of #tnmh or something else: another form, another hashtag, another group? That really doesn’t matter. It’s about the people. The power is there. As Kris Krug would say, “Use it with kindness and discretion.”
P.S. Some inspiration
Were the Games meaningful to you? Did your country’s athletes make you proud? Then consider supporting them. Sure you paid big money (or your valuable advertising eyes) to follow the Games, but these amateur athletes are heroes, and you can help them do what they were made to do. Go out and support local sports. Learn who your country’s great amateur athletes are. Go watch their races and games. And they will make your proud.
It has been quite the memorable two weeks for us during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope you enjoyed it too. Here are some highlights!
Without a doubt, seeing Jenn Heil rip down the Cypress mogul course for a silver medal on day two of the Games was a highlight:
Perhaps the most exciting events in the Winter Games is the men’s 5000m short track speed skating relay. The result did not disappoint:
The winner of the men’s 500m (that is SHORT and FAST!) short track speed skating final crossed the line BACKWARDS! Check it out:
During an “intimate” concert at Molson Canadian Hockey House, Sam Roberts was joined onstage by none other than the Canadian and his-great-quirkiness Shaun Majumder. He is quickly dragged offstage until he probably says something to stay and dance as a true Canada hockey superfan:
Check out our other Olympics videos here!
Here are more photos our Flickr Olympics set.
Noah’s personal Facebook photo album is here.
Our famous writer Dan shares his Olympics experiences here at NorthGeek. Check out his other blog TheWordShow.com!
My Dad invited me to join him for a trip to Vancouver to watch the tail end of the Olympic games. Sure, one might say, that sounds like an amazing opportunity and a splendid father-son trip. Fact is, joining him out West not an easy decision. There was a lot of important work to be done back home in Montreal. Besides my laundry piling up, there was the matter of my hyper-stressful day job, which involves helping rurally located, plus-sized clothing shoppers ensure they are receiving the best possible customer service experience – all I‘m saying is air traffic controllers and hostage negotiators should spend a day in my shoes.
I had also been putting off teaching myself the entire Lynyrd Skynyrd song catalogue on my acoustic guitar, and felt that the time had come to pick up my dusty “axe” and make good on this commitment. Bode Miller might have been lying in agonizing wait for 4 years for his elusive gold medal, but I would not watch him compete until I had mastered the guitar solo on “Free Bird.”
Finally, I had just purchased my first set of cross country skis, and before Pops presented me with the offer to join him in Vancouver, I had every intention of using the days of late February to break in my skis, perfect a decent waxing technique, work on my upper-body form, etc., etc.
Sure, one might argue, cross country skiing is an enjoyable hobby, but it pales in comparison to watching Olympic-level cross country skiers battling out on the world stage. For most people, yeah, I guess so. Not for this guy. So it was with a heavy heart that I begrudgingly accepted the offer to go see the Olympics.
Of course, I’m kidding. The Olympics were incredible. That they were in our home country and in beautiful Vancouver made it a truly unforgettable experience. On top of that, we were invited there as VIP guests of a big Canadian company, who had pulled out all the stops for us, putting us up in a swank hotel, feeding us food and drink at every turn, and affording us special access to meet various athletes, celebrities, luminaries of Canadian business, and, of course, tickets to see the events themselves.
Indeed, what I learned about corporate-sponsored events is this: if viewing a concert given by a c-list Canadian pop star is merely bearable, then viewing said concert whilst downing free cocktails and edible-by-hand lamb chops, all served by pretty waitresses who are forced to banter with you, makes the concert amazing. Really amazing. But more on that later.
The next few days, I’ll be describing to you the highlights of what I saw, who I met, what I ate, and where I went. If at any time you find this dull and not entertaining, feel free to log out and not read anything I write ever again – honestly, I won’t be upset: I saw the Gold medal hockey game and watched Canada win in overtime – I’m not going to be upset about anything for a long, long time.
Stay tuned, amigos.
Sam Roberts Band played at the Molson Canadian Hockey House on Tuesday night to an impassioned Canadian crowd, fresh from cheering for Olympic hockey.
During “Brother Down,” he was joined onstage by Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder, seemingly just another Canadian superfan.
There are so many great concerts going on in Vancouver right now for the Olympics. Here’s a little trick to import them all into your iPhone Calendar. For free!
- Go to the Events Calendar by True North Media House. I submitted most of the events there myself, and people may continue to add more.
- Click at the bottom on “+ Google Calendar”
- Click on “Calendar Settings”
- Export the calendar to your local iCal
- Sync with iPhone
Yes, this is Mac/iPhone centric, but as an open Google calendar, you should be able to do this with any smart device.
Not only is NorthGeek covering the Olympics, with stimulating video, scintillating words, and word-defying photos, but we’re also part of the Olympics. We’re fans of Canada, athletes, parties, and concerts. We are the Olympics, and here are some of our missions. Fulfill them by February 28. Bring it.
- Honour the memory of 21 year old Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili
- Be there in person for Canadian Olympic gold
- Meet the lovely and blisteringly fast Chandra Crawford
- Sneak some words with the little pepper Jenn Heil, Canada bump skier extraordinaire
- Rate the best free event
- Interview with the hottest live band
- Track down the Snow Leopard (Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong)
- Wave a Canadian flag wildly as Canada wins gold, wherever we may be
- Have our adoring fans Twitpic photos with the NorthGeek crew
- Convince the world that the best way to experience the Olympics is not from the official media partners, but from locals and passionate non-accredited sources
- Update: drinks were raised on Friday night, February 12. RIP Nodar
- NorthGeek was there for Alex Bilodeau’s gold medal. And our commitment stands
- See Flickr
- Kinda got snubbed, still working on it
- still looking
- Done, see YouTube
- Oh countless times
- Getting there. Make #tnmh trending
NorthGeek was lucky enough to have been invited to the media-only opening of the Panasonic Pavilion at LiveCity Yaletown in Vancouver today for a sneak peak at Panasonic’s new Full HD 3D technology. The awesome new technology is both for large-format theater and home theaters.
The best part of all was that we got to be among an elite group of reporters who enjoyed, first-hand, this new 3D entertainment experience. We started in a theater, similar to a movie theater, only a bit smaller – then we got to see it in “real-life” in a typical home theater set-up. Both were equally as impressive.
We had a chance to interview Panasonic North America Chief Technology Officer Eisuke Tsuyuzaki – here’s what he had to say about their exciting new 3D technology (the video will soon become available in HD if it hasn’t yet – YouTube needs to finish processing):
The first demo (which happened before the above interview) was on an extremely impressive, 103″ Plasma 3D television. I tried to take it home, they didn’t let. It was, as Borat would say, VERY NIIICE!!
Next up, we witnessed what our homes could look like as soon as April 2010 and for (apparently, still not clear) as little as $3,000 – equipped with a 3D-ready Panasonic TV, Blu-Ray player, 3D Blu-Ray media, and spiffy (battery-powered) 3D glasses.
The demos of 3D content included a bunch of winter Olympic sports, summer Olympic sports, clips from the movie Avatar, and a recently released music video featuring Soprano sensation Sarah Brightman. The sports (especially basketball, track, gymnastics, skiing, and cycling) were, in my opinion, the most impressive in 3D. The music video and movie just don’t look “real” enough for me to truly appreciate, whereas seeing a basketball net in the foreground and fans in the background looked really, really cool.
I should note, that what impressed me as much as anything else, was the lineup of (what I assume were) Viera Neo Plasma TVs, all color and temperature synched with each other, it was true perfection. I’d love to have that guy come to my home and calibrate my TV!
Leaving the venue, we had a chance to appreciate what LiveCity Yaletown actually looks like, without the zillions of international Olympic fans that are soon to cover each and every recently installed fake brick:
You’ve seen the streets around Vancouver and Whistler, and have been able to get up-close and personal with the various Olympic venues. But thanks to some really cool dudes and an awesomely high-tech snowmobile, now you can experience the snowy trails of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Check this out!