About the ‘BoniBlogs and the Blogger

NOTE: This Blog was written by Roslyn Morris, the AIPS Secretary General who shared the AIPS office with our John Iaboni (author of the ‘BoniBlogs daily throughout the Vancouver Games) at the Vancouver airport while awaiting her flight to head home to Australia. Ros was so busy winding up AIPS affairs before leaving for home that the few moments at the airport was the first chance she’d had to send us these comments:

When I read John Iaboni’s last Vancouver blog I cried. In fact, as I attempt to write the very last Vancouver ‘BoniBlog which I promised to Don Goodwin, Sports Media Canada Executive Vice President (sorry for being late Don), the tears are there again. This is my second attempt.
On John’s last day in our office at the Main Press Centre a volunteer came to help pack up some of the AIPS magazines and promotional material. She asked: “What’s been the best part of these Games?” My answer: “Working with John.”

John Iaboni and Roslyn (Ros) Morris

And that’s the truth!
I don’t want this to sound like a mushy “mutual admiration society” but John, you are one of those rare human beings who is such a delight and privilege to be around, that the whirlwind of the past couple of weeks in Vancouver was an absolute pleasure.
Last year I sent John a rather long email outlining what kind of work we do at an AIPS office at an Olympic Games. He didn’t shy away and for that I am eternally grateful.
The “job description” certainly did not include Valentine’s Day chocolates brought all the way from Toronto, organizing a birthday party for me – complete with cake, flowers and champagne, and being a great date at the Opening Ceremony where we shared a beer and a “smokie” hotdog while waiting for the show to start. That simple meal will be one of the most memorable in my life. The reason? One: I had not eaten all day and was so famished I could have eaten a horse, and even more importantly, how did he
know I liked mustard AND tomato sauce (ketchup) on my hotdogs and am renowned for detesting all other accoutrements (relish, onions, and barbecue sauce)? How did he even know to grab a hotdog (my all-time favourite stadium food)? That kind of explains our relationship — we just clicked from minute one.
The hour or so spent before the ceremony began was an opportunity to really get to know each other and each other’s families. I know how excited he is at the prospect of being a grandfather in the summer and how proud he is of his son, also a journalist and how much he loves his daughter-in-law. John’s delightful, ever-smiling wife Ada came out to Vancouver for part of the time and pitched in like a trooper when we organized the AIPS/Laureus “World Press Nite.”. What a woman!
John’s willingness to tackle any story for the AIPS website and turn it around so quickly, professionally and knowledgably was so refreshing. Being only nine years apart in age, we have a lot in common in respect to our lives as young journalists. We both trained “on the job” in newspapers and this is foundation that formed the “professional part” of our bond. We reminisced about the days of dictating stories to a copy girl from a public phone booth, bashing out stories on typewriters, and the clickety-clack of the teletext machine. We marvelled at modern technology and how the profession has changed in the past 30 years or so and pondered the future.
Not coming from a sports journalism background has never, I believe, been a handicap since I joined AIPS. As an Aussie, sport is in my blood. I especially love cricket and rugby. John loves ice hockey and baseball.
During a rare quiet moment in the AIPS office I was watching a curling match with bemusement and curiosity. John took time out to patiently explain the game – the rock (as it’s known in North America), the house, the technique of sweeping and the way the surface is prepared. That’s what I like and respect most about John, he always made time, was ready to step in when needed, was a considerate colleague and, he never complained. Not even when I asked for the millionth time: “What’s the date today John?
What day is it?” You see, for me early today in Canada is tomorrow in Australia and that always stumped me – more so than the time difference between Oz and Europe. As our workload increased I completely lost track of the days of the week. Thanks John for being so patient.
My other Games highlight was the gold medal hockey final. I know how much John would have loved to have been there but unfortunately he couldn’t stay until the end. Hey John, thanks for urging me to go. I wish you could have there with me. In honour of our new friendship I had a beer and a smokie hot dog (with mustard and tomato sauce).

NOTE: Special thanks to Sports Media Canada, President Steve McCallister and Executive Vice President Don Goodwin for collaborating with AIPS on the Vancouver Games project. And especially for underwriting the availability of John Iaboni to work like a Trojan in the AIPS office.