This 2008 U.S. Olympic Committee tagline captured exactly how I felt about the Olympic Games—and the Olympic Movement—as I was packing my bags to head to Colorado Springs, Colorado, months before the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.
That was where my Olympic journey started. Nearly a decade ago I was lucky enough to land an internship with the USOC (more specifically USA Badminton) for the summer, after years of dreaming about going to the Olympic Games. A degree in sport management and an alumni connection helped me get my foot in the door, and for the next 8 years I was part of the movement.
In that time, I worked at USA Triathlon, the national governing body for triathlon, taking part in digital campaigns to add paratriathlon to the Paralympic Games program (it was officially added in December 2010 and debuted in September 2016) and to make triathlon an NCAA an Emerging Sport for Women (this designation was awarded in 2014).
I oversaw media strategies and outreach as Gwen Jorgensen won back-to-back world titles, and then America’s first Olympic gold medal in triathlon at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. I traveled the world as the press attaché for professional and amateur triathletes competing against the best in the world, and I relished opportunities to serve in a media relations role at the Paralympic Games London 2012 and the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
After Rio, I decided it was time for my Olympic retirement. Michigan was home and there were opportunities there, too. I joined the Identity team in November 2016 and was certain I’d never work another Olympic Games. But sometimes the world works in mysterious ways.
Late last year, the Team USA communications team reached out to Identity regarding my availability for a special project.
Now, thanks to some creative scheduling and very understanding clients, I will be traveling to Pyeongchang, South Korea, on behalf of Identity as part of the communications and media team. I will be reporting on Team USA and creating content you’ll see when you’re watching at home. Specifically, I’ll be working on USA Daily, a daily newsletter with all the results from the American athletes in each of the 15 sport disciplines contested at the Games.
It takes a village for an Olympic or Paralympic Games experience to run smoothly—and I’m not talking about the Olympic village where the athletes will live. The team behind the team coordinates all the media interviews and appearances over the course of 18 days, writes stories about the results, assists in managing the thousands of global media onsite, identifies key stats, creates content for teamusa.org and the Team USA social channels, and more.
Basically, any exposure you have to the athletes outside of their competitive events is touched in some way by the USOC and their media team.
This will be my fourth major Games (in addition to London 2012 and Rio 2016, I worked at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015), and I’m looking forward to what I’ll learn. Every Games is different, with new challenges every step of the way.
I’m lucky this time to have my own “team behind the team” at Identity, and I can’t wait to share my experience with them.