Thursday, Feb. 10th:
📅 We’re at about the halfway point in our Olympic journey and it’s starting to feel like it. The daily routine is fine tuned with the morning throat swab (I haven’t gagged in three days) and the 25 minute bus ride into the International Broadcast Center (IBC). The back of my ears seem to have gotten use to the constant pull of the KN95 masks strings and I’m running out of clean socks and underwear (need to do laundry soon).
Not every day can be filled with Big Air and career firsts like yesterday, but I had a little excitement on my bus ride out to the platform for my 11 p.m. news live shot. The bus passes through the Olympic Park which has been fairly quiet on most days, but we hit a seemingly endless crowd of local Chinese fans streaming through. The bus driver seemed content to wait it out and the minutes started ticking by.
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There aren’t a lot of things that get my heart pumping here, but the thought of sitting on this bus for an extra 15 minutes and missing my 11 pm slot is one of them. They don’t send you to China so you can miss "slot," which is a source of shame for any reporter regardless of assignment or Zip code. Thankfully the driver found a small break and wedged his way through allowing me to run up the six flights of stairs to my platform and plug in for the 11 p.m. news. We talked about Nathan Chen, and Chloe Kim, and Lindsey Jacobellis winning Team USA’s first golds of these games all within a span of less than 24 hours. All three live in Southern California which is pretty cool.
One highlight of the day was catching up with an old colleague from NBC in San Diego, who now works for a different network. He is here in Beijing and we met up in the IBC Robot Cafeteria for a 20 minute catch up before all of us had to get back to work. I’m also getting great help from colleagues from around the country who are here with our team. Alex from Chicago hooked me up with a warmer pair of gloves.
Yari from Miami can’t believe how dry my hands look and insists on me using her hand lotion.
Jason from my station (photo at the top of this article) is a life saver with my stupid tech questions. Miguel from Philadelphia showed me how to make my scarf look suitable for TV. Christine from San Francisco is looking out for me when it comes to finding Olympians who might be available for an interview.
This was not the most memorable day, but it’s ending with some good news. Just learned I will be heading up to the snowboard halfpipe tomorrow to watch Shaun White compete in his final Olympics. My colleagues here were very happy I was “approved” for the mixed zone, which means I should get to talk to San Diego’s biggest Olympian moments after his competition. I interviewed Shaun in 2006 after he won his first gold in Torino, Italy. I’m sure he’d like to bookend his career with another gold … and another Steven Luke interview 😉.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
Watch all the action from the Beijing Olympics live on NBC
NBC 7's Steven Luke is in Beijing, China to bring us the latest updates from the 2022 Winter Olympics. Click here to follow his journey, day-by-day