SBJ/20100222/A Day in the Life

Olympic day with Mike Plant

Mike Plant is serving as the USOC’s chef de mission during the Vancouver Games. Essentially, the USOC board of directors member and Atlanta Braves executive is the ceremonial head of Team USA throughout the 17 days of the Games. Plant allowed SportsBusiness Journal to tag along during the first day of competition to see exactly what the job entails.

Text by Tripp Mickle
Photos by Andrew Burton (12) and Tripp Mickle (3)

7:43AM Plant leaves the Fairmont Hotel and loads his things in a GMC Acadia for a chaffeured, one-and-a-half-hour trip to Whistler.

9:14AM Plant gets an overview of the technology athletes and coaches are using at the USOC’s high performance center.

9:55AM Plant, an Olympic speedskater in 1980, tries out the NormaTec MVP compression system, which is used to decrease athletes’ swelling after competition, at the center.

10:35AM Plant and his wife, Mary, a gold-medal swimmer, read a text message on the shuttle bus to the ski-jumping competition.

10:56AM Catching up with IOC Director of Sport Christophe Dubi at ski jumping

11:05AM Reviewing the start list to see who will be the next competitor

11:50AM Plant checks an e-mail on his BlackBerry before heading to the biathlon competition.

12:10PM Plant’s old speedskating buddy, Sweden’s Thomas Gustafson, an Olympic gold medalist in 1984, introduces him to the Swedish minister for culture, Lena AdelsohnLiljeroth.

1:05PM Talking with USOC CEO Scott Blackmun

1:10PM Catching up with Michael Lynch, Visa’s head of global sponsorships, as he walks into the Whistler USA House to grab lunch and watch long-track speedskating

1:30PM Plant, his wife Mary and their driver, Val, enjoy lunch while watching U.S. speedskaterShani Davis.

4:45PM After reaching the Vancouver USA House for a press conference, Plant talks with Hilton Worldwide President of Americas Joe Berger about a new athlete job program the company will announce momentarily.

6:15PM Reviewing the short-track speedskating start times

6:22PM Running into former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the speedskating

8:43PM Back at the USA House in Vancouver to celebrate Team USA’s four medals, Plant congratulates one of bronze medalist JR Celski’s agents, Peter Raskin of The Agency.

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