Bricklin: A chance meeting with bronze-medalist Bryon Wilson
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Even in a city with a reputation for amazing food, it isn’t easy to eat well while racing from one Olympic event to another. The Olympic venues serve typical stadium food and it’s tasty – but it’s a slice of pizza here or a burger or hot dog there. I walked past a food vendor on the street offering six different kinds of gourmet Asian hot dogs with 30 people lined up to buy them. As a worldwide Olympic partner, McDonald’s is everywhere. Canada’s famous Tim Horton’s has fantastic donuts and some pretty good soups but it’s still fast food. Last night, I discovered a new escalator in the enormous Media Press Center and “rode” it into a nice, sit-down restaurant in the lobby of the hotel located four floors above the main deck of this cruise ship shaped building.Temporary televisions were placed throughout the restaurant so diners could take in the Olympic coverage. CTV is Canada’s version of NBC in terms of Olympic rights and every TV was tuned to coverage of Canada’s first-ever gold medal won on home soil/snow.Twentytwo-year-old Alexandre Bilodeau of Montreal won the freestyle moguls and his inspiration has been older brother, Frederic, who suffers from cerebral palsy. As you can imagine, CTC was all over the story with the entire family in the studio to celebrate the heart-warming story to go along with the gold medal performance.Towards the end of dinner I received an e-mail alerting me to the fact that U.S. mogul skier and bronze medalist Bryon Wilson (pronounced just like the Beach Boy and Barenaked Ladies song but spelled with a ‘y’ and an ‘o’) was available for questions at a press conference several floors below the restaurant in which I was dining . Since I had no room for dessert (an odd state of affairs for me which I blame on the copious amounts of fraternity-style food I’ve consumed lately) I decided to walk the hallways in search of the press conference. I found the right room but the press conference was over and Bryon was just hanging out with his parents, still wearing the clothes he’d raced in on Cypress Mountain just a few hours prior.Well, nobody else was around and this 21-year-old kid from Park City, Utah – and originally from Butte, Montana – had just won an Olympic medal so I introduced myself to Bryon and told him I was from Vail. He was so damned excited about what he had just accomplished, he was bursting at the seams, grinning ear to ear: Happiness personified. He asked me if I had seen the race and I told him I had just watched it three or four times and I thought he had better “air” than the gold medal guy whose name I was not confident in pronouncing. He was so happy to hear it. Bryon talked about a 24-second race having such a huge impact on his life so quickly. He asked me to take a picture with him before I could ask and I would not have been shy about asking. We parted ways about 10 p.m., early by “party like a rock star” competitive skier standards. Still, it was the equivalent of an all-nighter, as Bryon had a date with the Today Show and had to be at the NBC studio by 2:30 a.m. so he could be live on the east coast… and so it begins for an Olympic medalist.Our marketing guy, Mark Bricklin will be covering elements of the 2010 Winter Games from Vancouver & Whistler – a very non-sports perspective focusing on buzz, sponsors, swag, the crowds, the zany and the marketing. Want him to check something out while he’s there? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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