I knew it was going to happen. Sooner or later, I was going to get sick. Little sleep, bad food, 12+ hour working days spent hiking up and down mountains is enough to break anyone.
First the sore throat hits, then the blocked nose and sneezes loud enough to bring down the Biathlon stadium, followed by the aching sinuses. Now I feel like I’ve got cotton wool in my head and I’m frequently breaking into a cold sweat, thanks to the constant switch between cold mountain air and unbearably hot media centre. Nice, eh?
I’m not the only one. The media centre is a veritable haven for infection. Hacking coughs and sneezes are the soundtrack to our afternoons. After all, there are hundreds of journalist and photographers all crammed into one toasty warm, bacteria-friendly room. On the plus side, Lemsip is really cheap here. Talk no longer revolves around the excitement of the Games and who’s going to win which medal, but what we’re going to do when we get home and praying that we don’t get stranded here… for whatever reason.
With everyone feeling tired and under the weather, tensions are high – no more so than between the sound technicians and photographers. These are the guys who stand at the edge of the slopes with those furry microphones catching the swoosh sound as snowboarders go past.
They don’t like photographers, because they have cameras that make clicking noises. This interferes with the important swoosh sound capturing process. There was nearly a punch-up on the halfpipe after a photographer got too close to one of those fluffy microphones. In the end, the photographer always wins. Particularly if they’re Japanese and don’t understand English.
On the positive side, it snowed yesterday and the sun is out today, so we went to snap some snowboard parallel giant slalom. It’s a weird sport. They’re technically snowboarders but they don’t look like your typical rider. They wear tight trousers, ski boots strapped onto a long, thin board and they skid A LOT. Like boardercross, it’s an entertaining watch because so few alpine sports are actual races.