Vac Verikaitis
Vaclovas F. Verikaitis (Vac) is a television producer/director and writer who has been a senior member of the production staff on some of the biggest events in the world including the Olympic Games, Formula One motor racing and the World Cup of soccer. He has recently expanded his purview to include television and theatrical drama, working with production companies in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Entries by Vac Verikaitis

It's Time We All Embrace The Word F-A-R-T

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2016 | 12:20 PM

The machinations of the daily grind in Canada's House of Commons generally don't make international news. That changed somewhat last week. Social media lit up, too. It seems Green Party leader Elizabeth May is easily offended.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel made an impassioned plea for something to be...

Read Post

Reinventing Myself In Isolation Led Me To Have More Empathy

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 3:32 PM

What happens to people when they reach a certain age only to find themselves on a metaphorical raft as the mother ship sails away without them?

The television industry I entered 35 years ago was a different world. More channels meant more choices for consumers, but also plenty of employment...

Read Post

Suarez's Bite Isn't Any More Violent Than an Everyday Hockey Game

(10) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 2:23 PM

FIFA's disciplinary board handed Luis Suarez a four-month ban from any soccer-related activity after he was seen biting an Italian opponent. He also received a stiff fine, is not allowed to play in Uruguay's next nine international matches, and will miss the start of the domestic season with...

Read Post

The Fix Is In at the World Cup in Brazil

(2) Comments | Posted June 14, 2014 | 2:49 PM

The opening kickoff of Brazil 2014 between the host country and Croatia, was set against a series of provocative storylines.

Bribery. Corruption. Match fixing. Social unrest as a result of mismanagement of enormous resources at the expense of schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

The World Cup is a remarkable...

Read Post

"There Will Be No World Cup"

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 1:24 PM

A perfect storm of incredulity, fueled by institutional corruption, is on the horizon in Brazil; the dark thunderclouds of rising discontent in sharp contrast to the popular images of sun-drenched beaches and samba-driven smiles. Across the globe, people are getting ready for the showcase event of the world's most popular...

Read Post

Auschwitz: "It's Not the Sights so Much as the Sounds"

(1) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 6:40 PM

Out in Independence square in Kyiv, I saw a solitary Lithuanian flag amongst the sea of blue and yellow Ukrainian ones during a protest gathering this past weekend. It wasn't just a flag. It was my family. What's left of it.

The yellow, red and green was always around...

Read Post

Why Nobody's Watching the Paralympics

(1) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 1:37 PM

When politics enters the fray, as it does with the Olympics, athletes always get the sharp end of the stick. For many of them this has been a lifelong mission, that by demonstrating their total unwillingness to be deterred by the obstacles in front of them, that they would be...

Read Post

TFC Is Just a Small Part of Canada's Rich Soccer History

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2014 | 10:49 PM

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and their new President Tim Leiweke are trying to rewrite Canadian soccer history in their own image. But TFC isn't the start of the world's most popular game in Canada. And neither is major league soccer. Far from it. They're only a small part of...

Read Post

Who Are We to Define Democracy for the Ukraine?

(2) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 3:42 PM

As a preeminent journalist of unquestionable pedigree, I am puzzled by the lack of context offered by the National Post's editor-at-large Diane Francis in her most recent Huffington Post blog.

A distinguished professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, a Visiting...

Read Post

Moral Relativism and the Olympics

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 4:40 PM

Protagoras was the Greek philosopher who first taught rhetoric and argumentation. "Man is the measure of all things" he argued. There is no truth except that which individuals deem to be the truth.

Rhetorical contests were part of the ancient Olympic games. I'm not making this up. If the Olympics...

Read Post

Meet the Special Talents Who Run Olympic TV

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 8:16 AM

Every Olympics there is the inevitable outcry from viewers in the United States disparaging NBC's model of tape delayed coverage versus the Canadian model of live coverage as provided by the CBC.

There are reasons behind that.

With millions of dollars and the networks very existence at stake nothing...

Read Post

How Corruption Works in Russia

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 12:34 PM

My recent post about the Western press being too critical of Russia was not meant as a free pass for what goes on there. It was an observation that ordinary Russians are not inherently malevolent or conniving.

And make no mistake, I am not an apologist for the Putin regime....

Read Post

Doping and Passports in Russia

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 11:24 AM

Just a few days before the start of the Olympics three biathletes, two Russians and one Lithuanian, tested positive for a "non-specific" substance, but widely believed to be a designer version of the endurance-boosting drug EPO.

That's the drug that made cycling (in)famous.

A report in the New York...

Read Post

Westerners Are Being Too Critical of Russia

(5) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 4:55 PM

My heritage is Lithuanian but my Grandfather studied in Moscow and told me once that in his youth he met Lenin himself.

I've read the great literary works of Solzhenitsyn and his chronicles of the Gulag Archipelago, and Sholokov's tales of the Cossacks. Tolstoy and Doestoevsky. Boris Pasternak and Dr....

Read Post

Welcome to Russia, and Let the Games Begin

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 5:45 PM

Even if some are not interested in sport at all, most people catch at least a little of the opening ceremonies. It is almost always a spectacular display of all the best a country has to offer, how it sees itself, and more importantly how it stages that vision.


Read Post

The Great Journalistic Minds Out in Sochi

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 9:37 AM

There are over 13,000 accredited journalists in Sochi for the Olympics. Never mind security issues, will there be enough vodka to last for two and a half weeks?

Seeing that this is Russia, the answer, no doubt, is yes. But I digress.

My goal is to provide a fresh...

Read Post

Sochi 2014: Women's Hockey Survives Because it Makes Money

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 12:58 PM

Since the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) Women's World Hockey Championships began in 1990, only two countries have competed for the title. Fifteen straight championship finals between Canada and the USA. Canada has won ten of those, but the USA has won five of the last seven world titles.

Read Post

The Journey From Personal Trauma to Olympic Star

(1) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 1:00 PM

Sport is the great equalizer until you get to a certain point and then it costs a lot of money to get really good. And a lot of people drop out.

It is true that at the Olympic level, we are more than likely seeing athletes from well to do...

Read Post

Olympic Television Coverage Through the Years

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 9:31 AM

Olympic television production is about innovation and excellence. Working at a Games is a buzz. Intriguing, creative people from around the world gather together and function in a co-operative that really works.

The "world feed" is all about co-operation. As an example, the best skiing producers come from Austria....

Read Post

Going to Sochi? Some Things You'll Need to Know

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 11:02 AM

Be vigilant about possible terrorist threats.


Every thing you say and do will be recorded. Probably. Possibly.


Go through Russian language press to find hitherto unknown information. First stop?

Moskovskiy Komsomolets. The most popular Russian tabloid.

Hey, everyone can learn from the tabloid press, right?


Read Post