Years ago when I did drama, it always seemed like the plays we did were total chaos up until the last minute. It would always come right down to the wire, say, five days before opening night; there would be a frenzy of activity as actors struggled to remember their lines, set painters and decorators furiously sawed and painted to slap the sets together, and the lighting and sound staff wired up the whole auditorium in a two-day-straight work marathon. The director, gnawing on his fingernails, would fret over missed details even up to the end of the dress rehearsals. But when the curtain rose on opening night, everything would always come together, without fail.
I’ve been working on CBC’s Olympics site and this project has been exactly like a play of yesteryear; in less than half a year we’ve built an entirely new statistics engine to replace our old Sportwire system, and by golly, it’s working. Of course, there will be hiccups along the way, but the fact that this engine is running both CBC.ca’s regular sports scoreboards and the Olympics ones is a remarkable achievement. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of my former colleague Jake Burkholder who has moved onto other interests, but to whom we owe a huge thanks.
The Olympics start on Friday — wish us luck.