For three weeks in February of 1988, Jim Meloche served as Work Area Chief at one of five Press Centres at the Calgary Winter Olympic Games. While there, he supervised and coordinated the efforts of over 500 journalists from around the world. The centre at Canmore, where he spent most of his time, served the needs of journalists reporting on Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing and the Nordic Combined events. Daily chores ranged from providing background data on skiers to staging Press Conferences for both winning and losing teams.
Troy-Somerset Gazette March 21, 1988
Jim Meloche, president, French & Rogers, Inc., an advertising/marketing/public relations company located in Troy, recently returned from the XV Wnter Olympic Games in Calgary where he served as press center chief at the Canmore Nordic Complex. Here he supervised the Press Centre Work Area and coordinated activities for journalists and photographers covering events including biathlon, cross country skiing, disabled cross country and nordic combined skiing events.
During his month-long stay in Calgary, Meloche overcame various problems to successfully report completed events and accurately detail upcoming events. Pro blems included bridging the communications gap with foreign correspondents; efficiently dispersing information to 500 journalists and photographers at the Nordic Complex where there was only space and equipment to handle 250; plus reporting completed events and detailing upcoming events in a timely manner when record crowds caused event delays.
The Press Centre was responsible for supplying reporters with preliminary information before each event began, timely updates during the event and official results at its conclusion. Typical lists reported before an event included training lists, preliminary and final start lists. During the event, interim and preliminary results were followed by official results. The Press Centre then released biographical data on Olympic winners. Team press conferences were held each day, especially for teams from Canada and Norway. And press conferences for Olympic medal winners were held 90 minutes after each race. Meloche first became involved in the Olympics by qualifying as one of 25 members of the Olympic Ski Patrol. However, given his background in press relations and advertising, his time was considered better utilized supervising the Press Centre at Canmore.
Press Centers will most likely be at each venue. There were five at Calgary, but the event sites for the Salt Lake City Olympics seem to be more widely distributed. So there may be nine Press Centers at the 2002 Winter Olympics.