The slogan for this year’s Pan Am Games is “United We Play. I love that slogan because I think it epitomizes just what these international games are all about. So as I look forward to that united front, I’m here in Toronto Canada going through the first few “figure it out” days. No matter what major international event you attend, those first few days are drama filled as you suffer through the “are you kidding me.” So, for my “are you kidding” me list at the top goes not having a shuttle to the Main Press Center (MPC) from my hotel, about an hour away. There's more, we have learned there will be no live streaming of any of the Dressage competition, the first of the equestrian events begining July 11. Are you kidding me?
Part of the reason we choose to stay in a “Press Hotel” is because those hotels are supposed to ensure that the press have the working conditions it needs and can get to where they need to go, when they need to go there. But such is not the case here.
In fact, today I missed the Dressage jog because I had to find my own way down to the accreditation in order to activate my credential. Since there was no shuttle from the hotel I had to ask, plead, cajole and ultimately not succeed in getting transportation there and back. In the end it was all up to me.
So, a few phone calls later and guidance at the front desk of the Hampton Bolton hotel where I am staying, I was able to figure out the 35 minute drive to the train station (I drove the 10 hours up to Toronto in my own car), 20 minute train ride and ½ hour walk to accreditation. So, ultimately there was no way to make it back to a 9:00 jog.
But let’s look at the positive side of this. I got my credential. I learned a bit about Toronto. I figured out how to use the train. I got to the MPC and was able to ched that out. I met some really nice people including my friends at Nikon, Melissa Dibartolo and Mark Suban at Nikon. I was able to work in the MPC. I dropped off some equipment at Nikon to be cleaned and checked. I picked up my photo vest and my Pan Am gift backpack and I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of answers.
So, despite that initial frustration and “Are you telling me there’s no shuttle to the MPC? Are you kidding me!” all ended well and I’m ready to kick off the Games with Friday’s Opening Ceremony.
So, take the journey with me at these Pan Am Games as I continue to discover just how united the playing field is. In the meantime, enjoy the photos I took so far on my journey down to the MPC.
And remember that coined phrase, “United We Play,” well that means me too. There’s no sense getting upset about the fact that not everything is easy when you start an event because while my job is focused on covering this event, there’s a lot more they have to take into account to run a successful and cost effective Pan Am Games.
If you want to find out more about this event check out the Games website at Toronto2015.org.