by Jim Riggs
February 23, 1980
All In A Day’s Sports
Dream Ride - Last week was rather hectic here and due to a couple of 19-hour days sleep became rare. No matter how hard I tried, every time I rode a shuttle bus I had to fight to keep my eyes open. One day I decided not to fight it and conked out on the way back to Saranac Lake. Luckily, when the bus arrived at the Saranac Lake parking lot a woman was kind enough to wake me up or I might a have continued sleeping and ended up back in Lake Placid. That would have made a great story. Due to lack of buses, thousands of people had been trying to get Lake Placid and I would have ended up there when I didn’t want to.
Sleep Watching - I also discovered the Olympic Fieldhouse is good place to catch up on sleep and I was not alone. Wednesday I attended the Norway-Sweden hockey game and found myself having trouble keeping my eyes open there. Despite the fact the two teams were warming up and making quite a bit of noise banging pucks against the boards and shouting, I kept nodding off. When the game began I managed to stay awake but soon noticed I was one of the few. I was in a press section and while the game was in progress I noticed to my right a writer from Sweden was sound asleep. Between periods, an American writer to my left took a snooze. It must be the best place for 40 winks in a hockey rink.
Trade Bait - The pin-trading activity was heated Thursday in Lake Placid and I ran into one man who found the perfect item to trade for pins. He said he was wearing a stocking cap with the Hartford Whalers’ logo on it. A Polish athlete saw it and immediately offered the man a Poland pin for it. The man accepted and later said the Europeans want any item that deals with the National Hockey League.
Mr. Avis - Frank Bajak, who is a member of the Daily Olympic Digest staff, has no press credentials but that has not stopped him from attending almost any event he wants. With big fast-talking, he always manages to get into the press center even though he doesn’t have proper credentials. Then, with more fast-talk, he obtains press tickets to events and covers them. He gets to what he wants just by trying harder.
I experienced how easy it can be to get into places Monday when I had to enter the Olympic Fieldhouse with a representative from Canon. I needed a replacement part for my camera and the only way I could buy it was if Canon sold it to the camera store in the Fieldhouse which in turn would sell it to me. Though we had credentials, we were not supposed to be in the building at that time. When a girls began to ask for our credentials the Canon man cut her off and asked where the camera store was. She displayed a flustered look, pointed and said she thought it was down there. We thanked her and walked on. The Canon man explained all you have to do is get some of the security people off the track by asking a question. “You could break in here with a hairpin,” he said.