The Main Press Centre and My Birthday Memorable Celebration

Main Press Centre

One of the major perks of having an Olympic Identity and Accreditation Card (OIAC) is being able to to access Olympic venues and zones.

Having an ace film crew follow you around for four days doesn’t hurt your street cred, either.

The Main Media Centre (MMC) is located within Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre on the city’s downtown waterfront. It houses the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC).

My accreditation through Microsoft Office ’10 grants me access to the MPC. On Tuesday, I got a tour of the facility from Bob Condron. Bob started as a volunteer and he has served as USOC’s Director of Media Services for 14 Olympics.

The man knows a thing or two about the Games.

Bob had too many responsibilities so didn’t need to smile

The Main Press Center includes a press workroom with approximately 600 numbered workstations with complete live televised coverage of the Games, printed results and associated sport-specific information. It also has press conference rooms, a general store, laundry drop-off, an Olympic store, and a food court.

Basically, it’s just like a huge cruise ship.

But it’s a lot less fun.

Main Press Centre Lobby

Reporting from the Olympics is a big deal and these journalists mean business. Deadlines need to be met and revelries are understandably kept at a minimum.

Main Press Centre

In addition to the tour, I’ve attended some media events and press conferences there. On Thursday, Robin sent me to the MPC with a different assignment to learn the stories of a few journalists. I did better than that: I chatted it up with a cool Aussie and scored an in-demand ticket.

Not bad for a rookie.

I had a great conversation with a journalist from 1160 SEN in Australia who eagerly showed me the intricacies of sending radio reports, told me what Aussies are medal contenders and also where he gets his information (from

The next man I chatted with was watching nine flat-screen televisions broadcasting various Olympic sports. Overwhelmed, I asked him how he chose which one to watch.

“The answer,” he said, “is always hockey.”

It was a dead giveaway he was from Canada.

As it turns out, he is not a journalist but is the Communications Director of the Public Affairs Bureau for British Columbia and has been assisting VANOC during the Games. At the end of our conversation, he asked me if I had the chance to ride the zipline in Robson Square. This free attraction reportedly has people waiting in line for four hours for a 20-second thrill ride.

Tempting but no.

I told him honestly that I wasn’t willing to wait that long and that is when he offered to hook me up with a quickie zipline ride.

On my birthday.


If you will recall, at this time last year, I discovered I had lice.

Birthday #38 is already looking up.

Stay tuned for details of my birthday zipline ride! Also, if you haven’t already done it, be sure to go go to download your free Microsoft Office ’10 Beta.

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