Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022:
⛄ I’ve made a few critical errors while covering these games, but perhaps my biggest came back in San Diego before I left. I did not pack enough warm clothes! The last few days have dipped into the teens with my phone telling me it “feels like 4 or 5 degrees” with the wind chill. My question is whether it also “feels” this way for journalists coming from places like Helsinki and Moscow, because if it does … it definitely “feels” even colder for a journalist from San Diego.
The cold temps are bearable when the wind isn’t whipping, but on our main live platform which sits six stories above the Olympic Park near the “Bird’s Nest,” the wind is unpredictable and often fierce. I now have a new routine for San Diego’s morning live shots (which run from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. local time).
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On most nights I change into my long underwear in a bathroom stall outside our work area. It’s sometimes too warm to wear the entire day inside where the workspace is heated. NBC gave us bright blue jackets to wear on TV, and they look great, but they aren’t the warmest either, so between live shots I put on the bigger warmer coat they gave us for the Pyeongchang Olympics. We have two heaters on the platform which do a pretty good job too and of course we’re stuffing our gloves and shoes full of hand and foot warmers.
The other night I actually surfed the internet during our show looking at the jackets and boots I should’ve purchased before arriving in Beijing. A colleague of mine from Chicago has one of those expensive “Canada Goose” jackets and he said this trip was the first time he has ever felt the cold wind penetrate it.
Chasing down Olympic medalists who’ve just realized a lifelong dream continues to be our main goal here at the games and thankfully it’s part of a fine tuned NBC machine. I like it when the athletes are available in person of course, because the zoom interviews feel like something I could from San Diego.
The challenge of snowboarding and skiing athletes being up in the mountains and having to go through extra COVID precautions doesn’t help with the in person effort. Athletes who are still competing in other events are also much more likely to only be available via zoom.
We have several days of coverage, live shots, and work still to go here, but attention is creeping towards the return process now. We’ve heard we’ll have to leave for the airport six hours before our flight which will put my hotel departure at 3 a.m. next week. No big deal since I usually wake up around 2 a.m. for the morning news back in San Diego, but with the time difference here I’ve been going to bed around 2 a.m. Any tips for jetlag? If so, maybe send them my way … along with an extra pair of wool socks.
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