Wednesday, November 26, 2008

IAAPA Attractions Expo part 4 -- Joan Lunden and the Olympics

During IAAPA Attractions Expo, one of the celebrity attendees was an exhibitor who millions would recongnize from "Good Morning America" and ABC's coverage of the Olympic Games.

Former ABC anchor and reporter Joan Lunden was on site with her husband and daughter, Lindsay, and their team showcasing KinderKord, a new device intended to help families stay together while visiting attractions or just out on the town. It appeared they were getting a lot of attention for this new item, and media outlets like USA Today were checking it out in advance of the Expo as well (thank you, Jayne Clark).

With thanks to Lindsay for making the arrangements, I was able to spend a good deal of time with Ms. Lunden asking her about several Olympic memories from ABC. She had some amazing stories (see video) from Sarajevo's 1984 Winter Games and 1988 Calgary Winter Games on the ABC front, and also some personal family memories all the way back to the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley, Calif. Donna DeVarona, Jim McKay, Charles Gibson and other ABC anchors and reporters (and their shared Olympic reporting duties) were obviously some good times for Lunden who enthusiastically told many cool tales from the Olympic front lines.

Turns out as a youngster, Lunden's family had a home on the same mountain as the Winter Olympic downhill ski runs, and she used to attend skating and ski lessons in Squaw Valley with some of the Olympic coaches and officials in town preparing to host the Winter Games "back in the day."

Lunden also shared fond memories of working with the 2002 Winter Paralypics for several broadcasts, and her trial run using the same ski equipment used by blind skiiers at the event.

Many thanks to Ms. Lunden and the KinderKord team for making time to chat at IAAPA Attractions Expo!


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