Day 3 redux: Golden moment coverage bang on
The true test of a television network is how it handles the big moments. In the case of the Vancouver Games first big moment, the CTV-Rogers Olympic consortium gets a gold.
Coverage of Sunday night's victory by Alexandre Bilodeau, which ended a somewhat embarrassing drought of gold medals on Canadian snow and ice, was superb. While the sights and sounds were pretty much bang on, what made the night was the way CTV cameras told the story of Bilodeau and his handicapped brother Frederic.
Now, this is a story that could have been milked beyond tolerance. As a heart-warming feature that aired before the event told us, Frederic has cerebral palsy. Alexandre calls his older brother his inspiration and the relationship between the two is something to behold.
But CTV played it perfectly, showing an excited Frederic in the crowd enough times to get the point across but not so often as to detract from the coverage of the event. The shot of Frederic's beaming face after realizing Alexandre had won melted even the most cynical hearts.
Heck, watching it for the third time Monday morning still managed to put a lump in my throat. And I thought I was about as cynical as they come.
Announcers Jamie Campbell and Veronica Brenner managed to avoid homerism for the most part, though Campbell was a tad premature in raising hopes after two Canadians sat in medal position. ``That podium at the end of the night could be a busy place with Canadian flags," he crowed. Unfortunately, there were still half a dozen skiers to come and, as everyone should know, the best ski last.
He also didn't need to refer to Canada as ``this great country."
But other than that the pair did a great job of transmitting the event and its magnitude. Brenner's analysis was pretty much spot-on, though even with the super slo-mo replays it's difficult to tell who's good and who isn't.
Katherine Dolan's interview with Bilodeau, which included a question about Frederic, produced a wonderful emotional moment, too. Nicely done all around.
IT WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN: CTV host Brian Williams told viewers Sunday night that they were watching the Olympics ``on CBC." As he joked later, it was bound to happen. Hey, a 30-year habit is hard to break.
MOST POINTLESS REPLAY: During Sunday's biathlon, viewers were presented with a slow-motion replay of a competitor squeezing the trigger on his rifle. That now replaces slow-motion curling replays as the most pointless on television.