Samba de roda

8K sound truck and me. Not Bolt anymore.

It’s almost eight o’clock and I’ve just delivered rain ponchos to the cameramen. There is a huge rainstorm just arriving and the Closing Ceremony at Maracana stadium is to begin. Our Yle crew is really doing their best today, as always. I can’t tell you much about the content of the show as I really don’t know. There are always the mandatory protocol parts, handover and medal ceremony, but the rest is a celebration with music and dance. I've heard the Japanese handover is great. Well, what would you expect. Of course it will be! Let’s hope the weather will stay favorable for us.

Our crew just finished doing the Track and field at the Olympic Stadium yesterday, or to be more precise at midnight. We’ve had a few hours of sleep and then we had to leave for Maracana. Tonight on Sunday evening after the show has ended we can get a few hours to do some packing and maybe a shower and then it’s off again. This time to the airport. And back home, via Sao Paulo! I’ll be at home on Tuesday afternoon. Boy, do I look forward to that!

The most part of the Yle crew has gone home already and I wish them a good journey. We have a small crew left, continuing the yesterdays de-rigging and another crew at Maracana working with Ceremonies. Quite honestly this crew here is doing such a great job after doing Opening Ceremony, Equestrian, Track and field and Closing Ceremony in one Olympics. Working with 3 different directors of different nationalities is very demanding. Adding the ever-so-long journey back home, I would call this THE Marathon.

I have no clue how I ended up being the VIP spotter at the opening ceremony. Pure coincidence, but fun. You have to start somewhere, why not the olympics! The truth is I'm more on my own field in closing ceremony as my role is to be a moral support, help the boys, sit in the back-up truck, enjoy the show and fix the transport back to the hotel as soon as possible. I call them my boys, it makes me feel important. RIght now they are out in the rain and cold wind. The weather here is like a 4-year-olds tantrum, suddenly warm and in one minute cold. And yes, it's winter here; now it’s +19° and the wind is horrendously turbulent.

We have had very good feedback and the latest praise came from a Japanese producer. For the first time there is really an 8K transmission from Rio to Japan. They have transmitted signal from the ceremonies but also track and field. And here's where our guys gets the credits. Imagine the 8K sound really needs over 300 microphones in the stadium and of course they will use some of the ones we also used. Great collaboration is always welcome. The Japanese have two units with two trucks and one set is at the ceremonies, one truck for the picture and one for the sound. I had the privilege to visit both by the courtesy of the producer from Studio-wa L.L.C Mr. Kazutaka Noda. The picture itself is impressive, but the greatest experience for me was the sound and that is – beyond all expectations. The 22.2 sound system has 8 monitors on the upper level, 10 on the midlevel and 4 down level, with additional 2 ones. Seeing the runner of all times Usain Bolt make his 100m and listen to the sound was just amazing. According to Mr. Noda the signal is transmitted to Japan via fiber and it is distributed to theatres and several cities where they have screens for the viewers. I know some people doubt do we really need 8K and the soundpackage, but then I don’t think it is yet meant to be in every home! You get used to all kind of things and spoiled by the HD and 4K, I’m happy the sound also makes a breakthrough. Just amazing! There is one other thing we could learn from the Japanese – to take the shoes off while entering the truck! I know it wouldn’t be easy during winter and it would mean you all should really have to mend your socks, but it’s just so neat.

I think this has been the Olympics of Samba. Changing moods and big contrast has been very apparent to me. These were my 8th Olympics and the 4th time I’ve had a chance to join the Ceremonies team. Not once, but several times we compare the Olympics with one another! Each project has involved a lot of work and it has never been easy, but been worth every penny. We just need to remember that change is not always trouble. My next Challenge#eleven will be the Tokyo 2020 slogan - unity in diversity.