No cars, nor private vehicles of any kind, were allowed anywhere near the place unless they had the proper identification on them and even then, some of them were searched before entering and even when leaving. The only ones that did come on during game times, were the Suburban's carrying important people, city police cars and police from all over the United States and Utah Highway Patrol units. Oh, of course, the ambulance. The dignitaries there came from all over the world and just mingled with the crowds like everyone else. That was really neat that they could feel secure enough to do that but I am sure they had people close by them who were guarding them but you couldn't tell.
Sweden's flag on the left and Norway's flag on the right.
The best part of it all, is that no one was upset with it as we all knew what it was for. All of us would joke though, when having to go through all of that but we let security know that it was okay and told them that we appreciate it as many of them apologized for the inconvenience.
During the Olympics, it was another matter, as there was quite a hill between mag and bag, the check in tent right behind that, and then the food tent, and then to where our work trailer was. Our area was at the top of the hill in what they call, the "Athletes Compound". We all were within gates, that could be locked but had security there, which included; the day lodge where the athletes ate, etc., the doping and medical trailers, all of the wax cabins (really trailers) and us, the Sports Information Center. We were in our own little fenced area, but the gate between the compound and us was open.
This is the gate between the day lodge and us with the day lodge being to our backs with us looking down to the SIC ( Sports Information Center) trailer. The Biathlon trailer, the one after ours, was only used during the Olympics as we handled all of it during the Paralympics. The area with those two trailers were within our own gated area. The white trailer you see at the end of the walk way belonged to the media and they were also within their own gated area.
Now if you were to go through that fence in the previous picture with the sign on it and turn around, this is what you would see....the Day Lodge. If you were standing on that left corner of the railed porch, you would be looking at the hill side with it's 16 miles of skiing trails. The big glass area was the lodge part with the fireplace, couches, and tables and chairs where the athletes ate. They also had a small kitchen inside, restrooms, and an other room used for small conferences, but at this time is was used for food that was out and available all of the time for the athletes.
The basement downstairs was sectioned off to accommodate office space for the manager of Soldier Hollow, weather, and the supervising personnel for the Olympics. In the two restrooms down there, there were showers available for the athletes and also a kitchen area. The Olympic jury met down there also.
Most of the volunteers had to use the porta potties but we got to use the nice restrooms in the day lodge. Warm, clean and big! The public got to use restrooms that were in heated trailers and had running water. The clean-up crews were fantastic! They keep the rest rooms absolutely immaculate!
Everything was a lot more relaxed for the Paralympics as the National Guard wasn't present and there wasn't near the visible security. The car thing was still enforced but not to the extent of the Olympics. Lori and Toni did manage to get us a pass so that I could get to my work trailer via the car to within my walking distance. Then Raymond had to take the car down to where the athletes had theirs and supervisors, etc.
My life saver. . . . . .
For the Olympics, the let us have the use of an ATV to get me up and down the hill with Raymond driving it and keeping the key. You can't believe how much that helped us as I never would have been able to be at this particular venue if I had to rely on my own power to get places.
Sunset from the porch of the lodge.
All of the pictures are through the courtesy of Toni our supervisor.
Generally we had to use the park and ride area which was about three miles towards Heber city from the venue. The hugest parking lot I have ever seen! Even beats Disneyland! hahahaha They had portable flood lights all over the place and I couldn't even manage a guess at the number of orange cones to mark driving areas, etc. Plus that they seem to change the fence lines and cones on a daily basis! <smile>
Can you imagine being part of that security where they were out there before five in the morning? In fact they had security 24 hours a day. Called COLD, COLD, COLD! Cold enough to freeze a person's nose hairs just walking from the bus to the mag and bag! They were all bundled up with sometimes glove liners, gloves and then mittens over that. About the only thing you could see would be their eyes as many mornings it was below zero. They wouldn't have any potty, nor anything, and some of them didn't have any company (but a lot of them did have radios to call in on if they needed to) just them standing out there waving that orange flag and orange direction cone light, but they could holler if the needed to. The security people were also all along the field of play where the athletes were while on the course.
Now, that took dedication, as being security was the hardest job in all of the Olympics. Most of the ones working at the parking, gates, and along the trails, were paid which they said made it worth while to do it and it wasn't like, forever! A lot of them were college kids helping pay their school expenses. But I still felt is was the hardest job regardless of the pay check and regardless if they were professionals or students.
We caught one of the hundreds and hundreds of borrowed buses from all over the United States, that took us up to with in walking distance of the mag and bag area. In fact, the first bus we took was from Maryland, the driver was from West Virginia and he was driving in Utah. Then another bus was from Denver and it had the craziest seat covers! The driver was from Washington state and said that the covers were the graffiti proof kind. All of the bus drivers stayed in Wyoming and were driven down to our area, about 2 or so hour drive. They had to get up at midnight to get to us in time to drive us up to the venues and to shuttle the public..
I really lucked out one night on the bus taking us back to our cars, as the driver was looking for someone who had a Soldier Hollow pin that he could trade. I happen to have one with me and so I got one of the really scarce, bus driving pins.
There isn't a white box around it as the pin is round. Isn't it a beauty and it is one of the biggest and heaviest pins that I have. It is the size between a quarter and a fifty cent piece.
The left medal is for going back and the right for next.