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Salt Lake 2002 Retrospective

Episode 27 - Christy Nicolay

Christy Nicolay, the preeminent sport presentation producer in the Games, joins Christian Napier and talks sport production (as it was then called in Salt Lake 2002) and S'mores (recorded 12 and 26 May 2020).

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Christian Napier 0:11
Hello, everyone and welcome to another episode of the Salt Lake 2002 retrospective podcast a back of house to look at the planning and delivery of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter and Paralympic Winter Games as told by the very people who organize them. I'm Christian Napier and today we're joined by Christy Nicolay, who I would say is the preeminent sports presentation producer in this Games space for well over the past two decades. So Christy, welcome. Thank you so much for joining us. How are you doing?

Christy Nicolay 0:38
Hi, Christian. Great. Thank you so much for having me. And Holy moly. Did you say two decades? I'm super old!

Christian Napier 0:46
I was not implying age only experience.

Christy Nicolay 0:51
Okay. Yes. Yeah, yeah, I'm doing great. Thanks. How are you?

Christian Napier 0:55
Oh, you know, doing all right. Slowly emerging from our hibernation of COVID. Yeah, yeah, we're starting to get out to stores and things when I got a haircut. So --

Christy Nicolay 1:07
Nice. Yeah, I see that. Yeah, our salons. I'm here in Palm Springs, California. And our salons are not yet open. And I will be the first to go when they do open, but we did get to go to a restaurant on Saturday night. So that was the That was fun. That broke our I think 75, day 75. We got to get out.

Christian Napier 1:28
Wow, that's crazy. Well, here in the state of Utah, they have a four stage process with red being the lockdown, and green being great. And then in the middle are orange and yellow. And we're in the yellow stage. Now. We've been lucky that the the hospitals haven't been overwhelmed. And the number of cases and deaths are, you know, horrible. But at the same time, they're manageable. You know, so the infrastructure is coping. And so they're opening things up slowly.

Christy Nicolay 1:56
Yeah. Yeah, no, I'm ready, ready to get out and ready for sports to come back. So yeah.

Christian Napier 2:04
We're all ready for sports to come back. So ready for sports to come back. And I suspect that in this business, like everybody else, you just been really severely impacted by COVID. And I'm just curious, you know, how the particular work you're doing is kind of managing through all of this crazy pandemic?

Christy Nicolay 2:23
Oh, yeah. Well, you know, um, as you know, I mean, I've been doing Games ever since. I never stopped since since Sydney, actually. But actually, you know, an even bigger role since Salt Lake 2002. So yeah, I've done every game. Since then, in between Games I do, I still do sports. So. And now I work for a company and then Wagner Sports and Entertainment, who we also all do sports. So we do, you know, the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby and US Open Tennis and the NCAA and NFL Draft. And so everything, nearly everything that the that I produce, or that we produce his been delayed, most things are for a whole year, and looks like maybe the Kentucky Derby might just be later in the year. Hopefully the US Open Tennis will happen. And we did do the NFL Draft, but we did it virtually so that we did that out of our Raleigh office. So um, yeah, I'm just kind of just kind of on hold and just just waiting and ready. Ready to go.

Christian Napier 3:28
Yeah, yeah, we're all sitting here. But not necessarily twiddling our thumbs, right, where we're sitting here, we're and we're trying to be helpful. But it's a challenge in this particular industry that relies heavily on spectators to engage. But, you know, hopefully, hopefully, things will will clear up here soon and it will be able to come back to some new normal, whatever that is.

Christy Nicolay 3:52
Yeah. Yeah. That the no spectator thing does scare me a bit. Because, as you know, I do sport presentation. So I'm all about the spectators and um, you know, it's a yes, of course, we need sports to come back. I I'm and I feel super optimistic that they will, but I also really want them to come back with with spectator. So. Um, yeah, let's see, I think. I think I think it'll, it'll be okay. We might start out. Okay, we might start out without spectators, but then I think I think we're gonna get back to normal.

Christian Napier 4:35
Let's leave the COVID talk and talk about Salt Lake.

Christy Nicolay 4:40
Yeah, best Games ever!

Christian Napier 4:43
Well, yeah, I'm biased, of course, being a local here. But, you know, tell us a little bit about your journey. You know, what were you doing? You mentioned that you were working in Sydney, what were you doing before Salt Lake and then how did you find yourself working for the Salt Lake organizing committee?

Christy Nicolay 4:57
Yeah, so I had been doing the X Games. So I was kind of doing the same role that I do for Olympic Games, but on a little bit smaller scale, where, you know, if you look at an Olympic Games or Winter Olympic Games, it's like 10, 11 venues, and X Games is like maybe, you know, two and a half, something like that. So I had, I had already had been the event director for live event production in what we call the X Games, which is pretty much the same thing as being the executive producer of sport presentation in the Olympic Games, it's just that it's much bigger in the Olympic Games, and instead of, you know, just action sports, we have all different sports. So, um, so I had already kind of been doing the role for since 1996, for X Games, and then I worked for MTV and for VH1, inside like a TV, TV broadcast, background, also music and then. And then in between there, I got hooked up with NBC, where they did their their own version of an actual sports show called Gravity Games. And I made the switch from ESPN to NBC because I did always have Olympic Games in the back of my mind, and it did pay off because that got me to Sydney. But I didn't, wasn't really aware of, you know, working with the committee and having like a much bigger and, and longer role. And that came about from just a girl Her name is Donna Michelle Anderson. She's like a producer writer that I had worked with on on a show and in Hollywood. And she just she knew you know that I did X Games, and she knew that I was on my way to Sydney to work for NBC. And but she sent me the job description for executive producer of what we call it sport production in Salt Lake and sport presentations, sport production it's the same thing. But anyway, she had sent me the job description, and I was like, I'm okay. And she said, this is your job. This is perfect. And so, really, if it hadn't been for her, I'm not I'm not sure I would have known to look for this job in the Olympic world. And but I did and so yeah, I applied and, and I flew out to Salt Lake and I've heard a few of your other podcasts where you know, Derrick Salisbury. And Lisa Wardle like friends of mine that said, Oh, they, you know, they had this this one great interview, and that was it. But, but I think I had like 20 interviews, all in all in the course of the day or two. And so it was a really much, much bigger process, I guess.

Christian Napier 7:40
Well, sounds like you. Well, we all know, hindsight's 20/20. You made it through that gauntlet of interviews. And you were hired, as you mentioned, to be the executive producer of sports production. What exactly is that role? What does it entail?

Christy Nicolay 7:54
Well, so mainly, I mean, I'm both operational and, and sort of creative. And so I hire all of the producers, all the announcers, the music directors, and produce all of the video content that goes to the video boards and responsible for all of the entertainment that you see in the venues. I also, usually in most Games also produce the victory ceremonies. in Vancouver, I was a vice president there so I also produced Whistler Medals Plaza ,the team welcome ceremonies, the even even meddled in athlete transport, which, you know, I just quickly hired Derrick Salsibury for that. I know nothing about transport. Um, but yeah, so it's usually it's, it's, what we like to say is, you know, it's everything that a spectator sees and hears when they come into a venue outside of the competition itself. And another thing that we use to describe sport presentation is that it's, it's we we create the atmosphere that broadcast captures and sends around the world. And so our goal always is to, you know, create an atmosphere that looks great on television, and that we we want everyone around the world that's watching the Olympic Games on TV, to wish that they were there live. So that's in a nutshell, I guess, my elevator pitch for sport presentation.

Christian Napier 9:32
And when it comes to Winter Olympic Games, particularly Salt Lake City, how challenging is it to make that sport look really amazing on television? You know, there is a, there is a question sometimes in the movement, whether the Games are for spectators or for broadcast, but you know, for me it's that's kind of a false way of thinking because if it's, if the spectators aren't having a great time, then broadcast is gonna look terrible like you just said. So you have to get those spectators super energized and engaged. But tell us about your experience there in Salt Lake, and how you got all the fans to become fanatics there about winter sport and make it look just absolutely amazing.

Christy Nicolay 10:14
Well, I mean, I think I've done 10 Games now. And I still, I mean, there's been some great Games and some other Games that, you know, have been challenging. But I still go back and it would say sport present -- or Salt Lake was still the best Games ever for me. And I think it's because the fans were already amazing. And it was a great city, and it was easy for people to visit. And, you know, easy for people to get to easy for people to get around. And I had really good leaders, and I think it just was I never felt limited there. I think I've kind of said before, I had a couple of my my bosses, I had Sayre Wiseman, who came from Disney. And I also have Scott Givens, who and, and both of them like would always say like, you don't limit yourself, because there'll be lots of other things that limit you. And I think what they meant by that is, you know, each federation has its own set of expectations, or its own set of rules, or, you know, there's, so there's all these things that, that you have to kind of work around. And but in Salt Lake, I mean, the sport managers were amazing ,the venue managers are, were really open to kind of pushing the envelope. And I'll say like, in particular, for instance, out at Soldier Hollow, where Phil Jordan was the venue manager there. He came from our I think he had worked in Cirque de Soleil. And he really, I mean, he was the one that said, Okay, let's have, you know, horse drawn sleighs take people from the parking lot to the venue, or, Oh, you want to have, you know, cowboys and Indians in the middle of the field of play. Okay, cool. So, we had, you know, teepees and just, it was just just amazing. And, I don't know, like, the half pipe venue, we were able to put a, we put a stage at the bottom of the pipe. And we had live bands playing, you know, at the bottom of the half pipe in between the heats. So it's just really good. It was just, I was this just amazing, amazing experience and, and a lot of fun, which I hope translated to the spectators, because I think the spectators also we're having a lot of fun.

Christian Napier 12:38
I think so too, having been a spectator and a few of those events during Games-time when I had time to, to attend some of the events. Yeah, I mean, the stands are always full, the crowds were really engaged. And it was a really, really exciting atmosphere to be in as, as a spectator. You know, when we look back on it, it sounds like it was so amazing. It was so easy. And you didn't have limitations, but I would imagine that you would face some challenges along the way. Was there anything in particular that you found that was a particular challenge? Maybe not necessarily organizationally, or budget wise, but you know, due to the physical terrain, or trying to, to come up with some of the new innovative things that you did?

Christy Nicolay 13:19
You know, I knew that you're gonna kind of ask me this question. It was on the list. But, I mean, if you talk to me about other other Games, like we're sure I could give you, you know, I have stories or for every other Games on what the challenges were, but, but really, um, I mean, Salt Lake was just a dream. And it i'm sure, you know, I know, we didn't have unlimited budgets, and I know, I had to, uh, yeah, I mean, but it really, I really cannot think of anything, maybe, you know, maybe the food. People always joke that we ate a lot of hot dogs. And maybe, maybe that was tough, but I must have blocked that out because I just, I only remember I only have just amazing memories from from there.

Christian Napier 14:10
Yeah, we did eat a lot of hot dogs. there's a there's a repressed memory that's now surfaced. And I probably won't want to eat a hot dog for a while. You mentioned a few people that you just talked about Scott, for example, Who were some of those really interesting people that you worked with? Who were really inspiring are really fun to work with, you know, or they had some interesting stories about, you know, some of the particular individuals that you work with there and your time in Salt Lake City?

Christian Napier 14:37
Well, I mean, I'd have to start with my team. And I worked really close with Larry Ganson who was my tech manager and who just kept us laughing all the time. You know, you wouldn't, it would not be uncommon to come into work and have your your your chair and your desk in your cube, completely toilet paper. So there's, you know, always great stories with with Larry. And there's so many people that I met there in Salt Lake that now I get to see from Games to Games. And I just recently it wasn't even that recent, but I guess themes recently, I was just in Lima during the Pan American Games and had lunch with Keith Davenport, who's from opening ceremonies who does a lot of Games as well. And we were talking about how we shared our wall. We were cube, not cube mates, he was on the other side of the wall for me. And I know I get to see like Maureen Sweeney. And gosh, no, no, there's all kinds of people that I run into from -- you, I get to see you every every couple of years, which is awesome. And yeah, so there's, there's a lot of good people that came out of that game. So just keep keep doing Games. And that's one of the things about doing Olympic Games is like just to have these relationships with people all over the world.

Christian Napier 16:11
It's, it's awesome to have those relationships. And it's nice to go into a new city, but see familiar faces. Let's go back to some of the fun times. Do you have any stories of incidents or situations that were just completely hilarious?

Christy Nicolay 16:29
I mean, we used to do so many fun things like we were, I think this was one of the few times or maybe the only time that that sport presentation was under ceremonies and not under sport. And so what that meant is, you know, I had to work a bit harder to stay closer to the sport. But I was also surrounded by so many, like incredibly creative and talented people. And that were also just very fun. And so we would like the things that I remember most were when we had to do not had to because it was super fun. But we would get to do like a team bonding exercise. And our team bonding was you know, we went whitewater rafting. And that was I think we camped overnight. Even I remember camping because yeah, we were making s'mores and we had plain chubby bunnies with the marshmallows. So, um, you know, super fun things like that. I remember also think it was the Christmas party, where, you know, they said, and this was just my team, because by then I had like, my own sport presentation team was quite large in December, just before the Games. And I think it was Sayre came and said, Hey, you have a you know, X amount of money that you have to spend on a on a Christmas party. I was like, Oh, okay. And we actually went to Sundance and rented like, a 20 bedroom house or something. And we all stayed the night in Sundance and, and what's his name? Um, you know, I'm talking about Robert Redford, Robert Redford owns Sundance. And so we just had this amazing house and we went sledding and you know, made bonfire. And in the morning, I got to be Santa Claus. And I got to deliver little massage gift cards to everybody that was just passed out all around the house. So just super fun things with, with amazing people. And just just the job alone was most fun. So he had that to working with, you know, a team like we have and nothing gets nothing's better than that.

Christian Napier 18:40
All right. Well, like there's a lot to unpack there. So I got a couple of questions. Number one, did you actually run into Mr. What's his name? Was he actually around at that time?

Christy Nicolay 18:56
He was around Yeah. And he actually did Um, I don't know if you remember. But we one of the one of the things that we did in Salt Lake, we had a lot of firsts in Salt Lake, but one of the first one of the big things we did is we asked all the celebrities to pre record the ingress and egress announcements as people were coming into venues. So you know, they would be things like, Hi, this is Robert Redford and I'd like to welcome you to the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, please have your tickets ready and your bags open for inspection. So we we wanted to make those you know, boring announcements, super fun. So we did we asked every celebrity that we knew and and Mr. Redford was one of them. And along with many other people, you know, around around there and actually all around the world actually recorded those for us. So yeah, he's very nice, that one time that I met him.

Christian Napier 19:49
So you got those voiceovers at a pajama party. You're in his house. He's just sitting there in his loafers. I can just picture it now. I can picture it now.

Christy Nicolay 20:01
I was just gonna say we also um one of my producers got the recording with the mayor was in Mayor Rocky and and they had to go into a closet together to block out the ambient noise. So we have we have lots of stories with the getting this celebrity recordings

Christian Napier 20:27
Another question I have is about the white water rafting. Did anybody fall out?

Christy Nicolay 20:32
Oh, I have I have a vague recollection of Larry pushing somebody out of a raft. I want to say he pushed out care and Kelly Swiatoga. I'm not sure don't quote me on that. But I have a feeling that happened.

Christian Napier 20:47
And who made the who made the best smores?

Christy Nicolay 20:50
Oh, I am the s'mores champion myself. Yeah, everybody knows that. I love s'mores. And I've taken -- Okay, if I was if I left a legacy anywhere. It's well I didn't leave it. I just take it with me. But I've taken smores to Sochi, to Rio to PyeongChang to Lima. So I make I make all my sport presentation teams. Try s'mores at one point or another. For sure.

Christian Napier 21:19
You have to bring the graham crackers from the States or can you buy them here locally?

Christy Nicolay 21:23
No, I bring them from the States. I just took low I it was January but I just took a bunch to Lausanne Switzerland and of course they didn't really need our Hershey bars because their chocolate is much better. But I bought the I brought the the honey made graham crackers and the you know the fluffy marshmallows.

Christian Napier 21:43
Mmmm the marshmallows. In my last s'more question, you can tell this is a priority for me. My last question is how well do you toast the marshmallows? Do you let it catch fire? Or do you like to just get it like a nice golden brown?

Christy Nicolay 21:58
I do not like to let it catch fire. Some people do I just just before the quarantine we had my birthday here at my house then because I was producing the BNP Paribas Tennis Open here in Indian Wells. And so I happened to be lucky enough to have much of my team here but just and then we locked down but everybody came over. And that's what we did. We made s'mores and there is a big there is a big debate over you know, letting them catch fire and no, I am definitely I keep turning, turning turning and just the right golden brown.

Christian Napier 22:30
I'm okay to let it catch fire for amusement, but I don't want to eat it. If it's burned.

Christian Napier 22:35
Oh, well, then you Christian, you wasted a perfectly good marshmallow.

Christy Nicolay 22:39
I know I committed mass homicide of marshmallows. I will admit, I confess, I like to burn stuff. There you go. Now the police are gonna come after me.

Christy Nicolay 22:49
Yes, they are. Funny.

Christy Nicolay 22:51
All right. What other interesting memories do you have to share with us here?

Christy Nicolay 22:56
Um from Salt Lake. I mean, I everything. I mean, I workwise. I mean, I was just so proud of the team. Because I feel like we, we we had a lot of first there. And we you know, it's the first time we asked the athletes what music they wanted to hear was the first time we did you know, we were able to talk OBS or it's like, it was ISB at the time into letting us have our own cameras and letting us do our own interviews, you know, in the field of play, and just was workwise I just felt we were really just able to kind of raise the bar on on what sport presentation was in an Olympic Games. So I'm just super proud of the team that I had there and everything that we did and and we always now we always have so many times we go Oh, you know, we'd come up with a great idea. And I'm like, Oh, no, we did that in Salt Lake. You know, there's I just yeah, I mean, good experience, great memories. You mentioned challenges before and couldn't think of one but actually now on as I'm thinking about it at Utah Olympic Park. I remember that venue management came to us and said that they had a challenge of getting people to walk the one mile straight up the hill from the parking lot up to the competition venue. And, and one of my producers, they're actually Chris Severson, who still lives there in Park City. And he had this amazing idea to work with our sponsor, which was Qwest, they were one of the phone providers, I think, and we made this this kind of walk where it had phone booths along the way. And the old school phone booths that you don't don't see anymore, and but and we made phone books and the phone books were actually made of each each page had the top 20 songs from every Olympic Games going back to the 20's. And so people would would start walking and they would come up to a phone booth, and they could pick out a song that they wanted to hear. And then they could pick up the phone, which was really like a direct line. It was like a hotline to our DJ who was at the top in his own little own little DJ house. And you could request a song. So you could say, Hey, this is Christian, and I really want to hear, you know, Elvis Presley. And they go, okay, Christian, here's, you know, here's your code. If you hear your song before you reach the top, come see us. And so you would start walking. And then halfway along the way you you'd hear your song that you requested. And when you got to the top, you could go to the little DJ cabin that was there. And we would you would get a gift and we had like a different gift every day. So what happened was, the result was that more people walked. Then we called it walk the talk, the walk or something, something like that. We had all these slogans and more people walked than took the shuttles. And so that was like a challenge that we were we were able to help with. It was really a challenge and venue management, but we were able to help them and support them.

Christian Napier 26:14
I love it. I love it. Because you're right, that's a that's a haul, up a hill. There's a substantial elevation change there. And you turn it into something fun. And it's nostalgic to hear things like phone booths and phone books.

Christy Nicolay 26:28
Yes, I know it. Can you believe it was that long ago and I just I think we called it dial the mile and walk the talk or something like that. We had all kinds of signage and we called it -- the radio station call sign was radio KUOP. That's, that's what I remember now.

Christian Napier 26:48
That was awesome. That's awesome. Well, since we're talking about music, maybe we should go right to my music question. Okay. As you know, I've got assignments that I always give out to people. And one of the assignments deals with music. So Christy as you think about your time in Salt Lake, was there a particular song that you liked to listen to back then that when you hear it today, it immediately takes you back to your time in Salt Lake?

Christy Nicolay 27:13
Yes, there is a song I don't hear it often. And I mean, all of the music from Medals Plaza because my -- I don't know if you know this but but my now husband, he wasn't then but it was he was an FBI agent in charge of Medals Plaza, and we lived downtown in a loft really close to Medals Plaza. So I would finish my day and I would go down there and I would get to see all the bands at night. And so I remember like you know, Foo Fighters playing and Barenaked Ladies playing and Train and N'Sync and so I remember all of that music from those bands and definitely remind me of Salt Lake, but I think the one songs that I don't really hear that much. I'm not really sure what happened to the band. Remember it was one of the bands that we had at the bottom of the halfpipe. It was a band called Lit. And they were kind of like an indie punk rock band and they had this song called My Own Worst Enemy. And I don't know what it is about that song. I just love it. Not so much the words, but it's just just a great song. I guess. I think I like all that kind of tinny kind of music. I still like the Killers and Blink 182 and music like that. So So I remember when those guys played at the bottom of the pipe like that was that was really cool. So that song will always remind me of snowboard halfpipe.

Christian Napier 28:35
Alright, so Lit, My Own Worst Enemy. Okay. We'll go ahead and we'll put that on our Spotify playlist. And I do want to come back to that because you said that that was one of the selections that was used there in the halfpipe and that the athletes were able to choose their own music. Did they have to go through any kind of a vetting profit process? Did music get rejected?

Christy Nicolay 28:58
Um, oh, yes. I am sure. Yeah, we had a we had we did we had a website just for the athletes. Actually, the first time we ever we ever did that, or that any Games ever did that. But it was like Salt Lake / athlete music, I think and the athletes, they can go there and then the way that we knew it was an athlete is they had like a registration number which was there. Like if they were a snowboarder it was FIS so whatever their whatever their International Federation was. So they had a number from there if and they would request music there. And they I think we would give them like three to five choices. And yes, sometimes they would be you would have to be careful not only of bad words, but also bad messaging. For instance, you don't want to like I think it was an Athens we had an archery, we had an athlete. Well, the athlete didn't request the music but the DJ, the athlete shot the arrow. They didn't It didn't make it and then DJ played Hit the Road Jack. And so even, even, uh, you know, there's, there's, there's things like that they, you know, songs don't even know if it's like not even a bad lyric, it's the message might be bad. So there's lots of songs. Yeah, that would not make it in. But now we've learned to have instrumental versions or you know, there's of course now it's much easier to have clean, clean versions and, and sometimes you just have crazy things like, um, you know, we've had athletes, I think, as a joke request. You know, like Britney Spears, for instance, I remember a snowboarder, I think he was actually trying to request it for one of his competitors or teammates, trying to, you know, trying to get that song played for a competitor, like somebody like one of his friends or, and then we've had like things like the theme from Star Wars and, and in that case, like we would, we would go ahead and play it, but we would make sure that the announcers would call it out. So we would say, Oh, hey, you just heard you know, the, the theme from Star Wars and not actually was a request by about athletes. We don't want them we don't want anybody thinking that our that our DJ is playing around.

Christian Napier 31:17
I have to ask though, was it the disco version of the Star Wars theme? Or was it the original theatrical?

Christy Nicolay 31:23
I think it was the original theatrical version.

Christian Napier 31:26
I would go with that. I remember the disco version when I was a kid. You know, I was interested. Interesting, but I prefer the good old john Williams score. Okay, that's all.

Christian Napier 31:43
Okay, so let's, let's turn to food. Okay, a particular restaurant that you liked to frequent there when you lived in Salt Lake?

Christy Nicolay 31:50
You know, I have not been back to Salt Lake. I went back for our reunion. And so I guess that was when 2012 we had a 10 year reunion. And so like, I don't really even I'm not even really sure what's around anymore, but I do remember the super good Mexican place on the way to the airport is something like Iguana red, blue, green something Iguana.

Christian Napier 32:12
Red Iguana. Red Iguana is the one on the way to the airport. It's just a -- yeah, you just kind of go over the railroad tracks. There's a viaduct there. And then on the other side. Yeah, kind of hidden. And it is my very favorite.

Christy Nicolay 32:28
Super good. And then I remember like running out for lunch, we would always go to the soup place. I think it was called -- I think it was like, I think Big City Soup or something like that. But um, yeah, really, really good soup in the winter. And that was all they had is what I recall. Just just you.

Christian Napier 32:46
Yeah, they just had soup, and they had breadsticks. And that was it.

Christy Nicolay 32:48
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that was good. And then any place in Park City, was there something called Chumayo or something, something that starts with a C? I don't know. in Park City. I mean, you can't go wrong in Park City. I don't think.

Christian Napier 33:02
I can't remember. I'm not a Park City resident. So I'm not as familiar with the places up there. I know Chris Crowley in his podcast, he recommended El Chubasco, which is a Mexican restaurant up up there in Park City, which I've actually been to it's not too far from the from Park City High School. Cool. Okay we'll definitely add Red Iguana to our map that's on the website. Cool. Hopefully, once the COVID situation abates, we can go and visit restaurants and and hopefully, we'll have an event here in Salt Lake that will get you back here. And we'll go have some Mexican food.

Christy Nicolay 33:37
Hopefully we have an Olympic Games there. And then

Christian Napier 33:40
I hope so. Oh

Christy Nicolay 33:42
It would come full circle.

Christian Napier 33:44
I know Fraser's on it. Okay, to wrap us up here, Christy, is there a particular memory that is just your goosebump moment? You think back on it with just incredible fondness and, you know, it was a really emotional time for you here in Salt Lake?

Christy Nicolay 34:01
I think, um, I mean, I was emotional. Every time I had to address my team. Like, whenever I was giving a workshop or, um, you know, they're definitely I remember being emotional every time. I had to or wanted to thank them or, or just, I don't know, I still I still get emotional. Now when I give workshops and I always tell them and the most recent was Lausanne was on when I tell them all to kind of look around the room and because you may be working with these people and 20 years from now or you may never see them again. And so I always I, you know, the little speech I give and every time it gets me. I remember a lot of emotional moments like with the just just with the people that I worked with there, but the moment and the moment that I remember most of where I was just watching a competition was I had just seen the men, the US men's snowboard team sweep the podium up in Park City. So bronze, gold, silver. And actually we did the flower ceremony then it was just the flower ceremony. And then I think it was the same night being at Medals Plaza. That's also the night that Foo Fighters played. And then seeing you know, the US flag raised. So they brought on all three on all three flagpole. So bronze, gold and silver. And then you know, the three guys I think it was Ross Powers. And it was a Danny I don't know, but definitely not Shawn White yet. But anyway. Um, but yeah, seeing seeing the US men's team sweep the podium was a highlight for sure.

Christian Napier 35:46
Well, those are wonderful memories. And I appreciate you so much for taking the time to share them with us. I would have to ask you when you had these emotional --

Christy Nicolay 35:56
Hold on, stand by, my husband --

Christian Napier 35:58
Right on cue there go the dogs. But I but I do have to ask when you have those emotional team moments. Is that before or after the s'mores?

Christy Nicolay 36:08
Before or after? Yeah, you know, probably both. Excellent question. Yeah, probably both.

Christian Napier 36:16
Because you get that you get that perfect s'more. And it just gives you all those that warm feeling inside and then you put your beautiful speech on top of it. I think it would, that would induce emotion in anyone.

Christy Nicolay 36:28
Yes, I know. The beautiful speech is usually like pre Games, you know, and the s'mores usually post Games, so it's probably a pre and post wrap up kind of emotion. I probably have them all the time.

Christian Napier 36:42
Well, I'm gonna let you go celebrate with some s'mores.

Christy Nicolay 36:45
I actually do have some, so too bad you're in Salt Lake.

Christian Napier 36:51
Too bad. Absolutely. Now, if people want to know more about the things that you're doing, the events that you're working on, or they want to reconnect with you through social media or other means. What's the best way for them to do so?

Christy Nicolay 37:02
Yeah, um, well, of course, I'm on Facebook. So just my name Christy Nicolay. I'm also an Instagram also Christy Nicolay. Um, and I also can follow Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, which is the company that I now work for. Um, and yeah, and my email is just

Christian Napier 37:25
All right, Christy it's been a joy. Oh, go ahead.

Christy Nicolay 37:28
No, I was gonna say also LinkedIn, of course, but I'm super bad at LinkedIn.

Christian Napier 37:33
Yeah, I'm not so great at it either. But I'm trying. I'm trying. In fact, I just had a call today with someone who specializes in, in LinkedIn for another podcast that I do. And she had one look at my profile and said, Oh, it needs major work. So yeah, I got to get on. I got to get on it. Get my LinkedIn shaped up, but that's okay.

Christy Nicolay 37:53
So scary to me. It's like overwhelming. You open it up and is like 500 requests. So scary. Anyway, yeah.

Christian Napier 38:04
It's been it's been great fun. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to reconnect and share your stories, listeners, please like and subscribe to our podcast and Christy, again. Thanks so much.

Christy Nicolay 38:17
Thank you so much, Christian. Hopefully see you soon.

Friends Socializing


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