Sunday, February 4, 2018

PyeongChang Packing Complete

About eight hours from posting this, it's gonna be wheels up for this writer heading west on a direct Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Seoul, South Korea.

I'm tired of the buildup. Let's get this Games going!

Truth be told, it was uncertain PyeongChang 2018 would be in the cards. 

This is to say I always knew I'd go, but thought perhaps for only a few days of this Olympiad.

With thanks to the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Relations team, a full media credential was, of course, a massive tipping point to book three full weeks for the winter sports experience. 

Now the pins are packed, the AirBNB's are booked, a rental car is secured and a blog schedule, of sorts, is finally starting to gel. 

Here are some target activities on the books so far:
  • Securing a coveted ticket to the Opening Ceremony (one event for which the media credential does not guarantee access)
  • Checking out Intel's first Games as a worldwide sponsor
  • Attempting to share a coffee date with one of North Korea's hand-picked female sports ambassadors
  • Another presidential selfie like this one
  • Trading pins with my longtime five-ringed friend Nippy F. in the Olympic Village (where he is helping Team Australia)
  • Cartwheeling through Beijing 2022 House
  • Interviewing as many of Team USA's 243 or so winter Olympians as possible!
The past six months were challenging both professionally and personally. 

While 2017 was the "best year ever" in my independent public relations business, on the home front, as my inner circle of friends heard ad nauseum, I kind of got my guts kicked in on the romantic side and in terms of a seismic shift in personal growth. 

It was tough. It remains challenging. There's a long road ahead. And PyeongChang 2018 may help make some great strides while affording a clean break from curious influencers and influences. 

Looking for the "Where's Waldo?" good in a forest of poo emojis, with the help of some real friends, not to mention close family members, things are already on the up-and-up in 2018. 

Snow Angel (left) with Nick (no saint)
In the last 10 days, I enjoyed a "do over" with one acquaintance (friend? meh? -- tough call much of the time) who visited the South, while later I was popping north for a day to visit former stomping grounds in Milwaukee, mostly to surprise a longtime bestie (see photo) who celebrated a milestone birthday. 

While in the land of "Laverne & Shirley" I also stopped in to the Pettit National Ice Center in West Allis, Wis., and got a nice surprise in spotting Olympic champion Bonnie Blair on the speed skating oval in training with her daughter (see photo). So slick!

Olympic Champion Bonnie Blair (left)
The Pettit staff were understandably all abuzz about Team USA's speed skaters who embarked that very morning (Jan. 30) for PyeongChang. The Olympic excitement is contagious. 

Looking forward to touching down in South Korea soon, and welcome questions, ideas, topics or other inquiries and suggestions for this site in the weeks ahead. It's going to be a great Olympics!

Images via NBC and Yahoo! with personal photos in Wisconsin by Nicholas Wolaver

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