Posts tagged "journalism"

The Olympic flame lit a fire in me, too

I’m not going to sugarcoat it; as I sat on the plane to London two weeks ago, I wanted nothing to do with journalism. I was exhausted, burnt out. I was done.

For the past month, I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out what else I could do with my life. Go into business? PR or marketing? Set my sights on being a stay-at-home mom? Nothing felt right. I bided my time hoping something would jump into my path screaming, “Pick me!”

Three days into being in England, something did—journalism. For me, it was the thrill of talking to all these people from other countries and hearing their stories that made me fall in love again. It was the luck (or journalist’s instinct, as my editor here said) of picking out the right person in the crowd to get that one perfect interview (Kristin Armstrong’s family, in this case). It was trying to take a day off, yet seeing possible stories everywhere I turned.

And now, here I am, sitting in a London Starbucks down the road from Farringdon Station, nursing my last sips of coffee, preparing for the day’s possibilities, and all that surrounds me is journalism.

At the table behind, two men discuss their careers in journalism. To my left, a young woman is being interviewed for a job and talks about her skills in writing features and editorials.

I don’t usually believe in “signs,” but in this moment I do. Journalism is calling.

Lindsey Gelwicks  |  Features Reporter

@lbgelwicks

My Olympic moment: a long wait, the rings and … wow

As I walked out of Westfield Shopping Centre near the grounds of Olympic Park, I was awestruck by the view.

The biggest set of Olympic rings I’d ever seen were right in front of me, plastered on the northeast wall of the Aquatics Centre.

There were countless fences and security tents to get through before I reached the massive building, but the sheer size of it made it look close enough to touch.

Unfortunately, the whole scene was just a tease for two and a half hours because I was denied access with my guest pass.

The whole park was on lockdown, but when I was finally escorted through, all the frustration became worth the wait.

Every direction I looked, there were thousands upon thousands of people walking around the venues and fighting their way into shops. It was the never-ending madhouse that usually gets me annoyed and angry, but this time it was different. The row of stadiums made me feel like I was at the heart of Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago sports all at once.

It was then I had my first real moment of disbelief—these were the Olympic Games and I was actually there.

Connor Hockett  |  Sports Reporter

In praise of good editors

My husband’s the director of BSU at the Games. It was his brainchild and has been his obsession these past two years.

I’m the faculty advisor to the features team. I was a newspaper features writer for years, and Ryan and I used to work at papers together. So these long nights, long meetings, long periods of simultaneous exhaustion and exhilaration we’re experiencing here with our 40 students at the Olympic Games seem sort of warmly familiar to me. It reminds me of my early newsrooms, of being 20-something with other 20-somethings who just wanted to do good work and see their names in black-and-white print somewhere.

What has surprised me is how it feels to be 39 and watching it happen from the outside—how it feels to help nudge the process forward, to initiate young people into what has to be one of the most demanding, difficult and wonderful jobs anyone can have.

Working through the night of the Opening Ceremony, with dawn starting to soak through the curtains of my London flat, I looked around at all the students staring down into laptops, complaining, laughing, passing a bag of chips, arguing about ledes, and I found myself thinking of Marilyn Young. She was my best and favorite editor in that period of my life. (She’s at the Jacksonville Times-Union now.) A word from her, positive or negative, could make or destroy my day.

Suddenly I saw myself as she must have seen me then, with my lazy streak, my stubbornness, my flashes of anger and occasional petulance, my imagination, my passionate energy, my bursts of insight and raw talent. I must have annoyed the crap out of her sometimes. I must have delighted her when I did something right.

Marilyn made me a better writer, and she trained me in a job that is also a calling. She overlooked my periodic 20-something dumbassery because she believed in my potential.

Now my little team of features writers is wandering around London getting cussed out in multiple languages, struck down with food poisoning and lost on the Tube, and I’m trying to channel Marilyn. I’m petting, cajoling and threatening them as the situation seems to require.

And when they do something right—for example, when a once-shy girl brought home the perfect interview, and another saw her work published in the Huffington Post—I am proud. I am as proud as if I saw my own name there.

I am hopeful I have given a little of what I received.

Colleen Steffen  |  Features Editor

Feeling at home in London

As I stepped onto the tube for the first time in months at Chancery Lane in Central London I felt a familiar tingle of excitement. After studying abroad in London this past spring semester, anything I could possibly want was in reach again.

During that time, I learned where to go to find the things that make me happy in this city. Whether it’s a pint at the Scottish brewer, Brewdog in Camden Town, a gourmet burger from the Lucky Chip in Hackney or a place to sit and think at the top of Primrose Hill, I know how to make myself comfortable.

Returning to London for the Olympics after living here for the first three months of the year has been such a treat and put me ahead of the game[s]—literally. For this reason, I don’t think I could pick a city I’d rather report from. The tube is simple, the pace of life is quick and the friendliness of Londoners and foreigners sharing the city is endless.

During my time studying at the City of Westminster College, I began to feel like I was coming home after returning from trips across Europe, and it didn’t feel any different as I made my way into London earlier this week.

After my experience here, there was no doubt in my mind that London would display itself in a grand way for this year’s Olympic Games. This was proven to me Saturday evening when a group of BSU at the Games journalists and I watched the fireworks blast off from Olympic stadium in Stratford, signaling the start of this celebration of togetherness, diversity and sport.

After this year’s Games, the world will recognize London as the beautiful, vibrant and relevant city I know it is.

Jack Meyer  |  Features Reporter

Daily Video: Aly Raisman | USA Gymnastics

BSU at the Games daily video series featuring Team USA athletes.

Aly Raisman – USA Gymnastics

Interactive map of Olympic village

By Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler  |  BSU at the Games

Click here to explore an interactive map of the London Olympic Village.

 

Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler are senior journalism graphics majors at Ball State University. Follow Annie, Liz and the BSU team at @annie_gonz, @elspangler, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Interactive map of London Olympic venues

By Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler  |  BSU at the Games

Click here to explore an interactive map of London venues for Olympic events.

Annie Gonzalez and Liz Spangler are senior journalism graphics majors at Ball State University. Follow Annie, Liz and the BSU team at @annie_gonz, @elspangler, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.

Daily Video: Toby Stanley | USA Diving

BSU at the Games daily video series featuring Team USA athletes.

Toby Stanley – USA Diving

Daily Video: Steele Johnson | USA Diving

BSU at the Games daily video series featuring Team USA athletes.

Steele Johnson – USA Diving

Daily Video: Josh Richmond | USA Shooting

BSU at the Games daily video series featuring Team USA athletes.

Josh Richmond – USA Shooting